Occasionally addressed by the Hindu honorific Sadhvi, Uma Bharti is currently serving as the cabinet minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government.
At a young age, she became involved with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She contested her first parliamentary election in 1984. However, she was unsuccessful. Bharti, in 1989, successfully contested from the Khajuraho seat. She retained the seat in elections conducted in 1991, 1996 and 1998. In 1999, she fought from Bhopal seat and won.
For the 2003 assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Bharti was appointed the Chief Ministerial candidate of the saffron party. She led the party to a sweeping victory in which it won 173 out of 230 seats in the state.
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In 2014, after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, she was appointed the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. She held the post until September 2017.
Alongside L. K. Advani and others, she became one of the major faces of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Her fiery speeches helped the movement achieve its momentum.
She, in December 1992, was present at a rally in Ayodhya that developed into a riot which resulted in the demolition of the Babri Mosque. Liberhan Commission that probed the incident indicated that Bharti incited the mob. However, she denied it.