Uma Bharti (born 3 May 1959) is an Indian politician who currently serves as the Cabinet Minister for Drinking Water and Sanitation in the Union Government of India. She became involved with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at a young age, unsuccessfully contesting her first parliamentary elections in 1984. In 1989, she successfully contested the Khajuraho seat, and retained it in elections conducted in 1991, 1996 and 1998. In 1999, she switched constituencies and won the Bhopal seat.
Bharti held various state-level and cabinet-level portfolios in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Tourism, Youth Affairs and Sports, and also in Coal and Mines during the second as well as third ministry of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. After Narendra Modi became the Indian Prime Minister in 2014, she was appointed the Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, and held this office until September 2017.
Bharti was among the leaders in the controversial Ram Janmabhoomi movement of the 1980s and 1990s, organised by the BJP and the Vishva Hindu Parishad. She was present at the demolition of the Babri Masjid, and was later indicted by the Liberhan Commission for her role in the incident.
In the 2003 State Assembly polls, she led the BJP to a sweeping win in the Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly. She defeated her Indian National Congress (INC) opponent from the Malehra seat by a 25 per cent margin. She resigned from the post of Chief Minister in August 2004, when an arrest warrant was issued against her regarding the 1994 Hubli riot case. After a falling-out with the BJP, she established her own political party for a while before returning to the fold and being elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the state of Uttar Pradesh. She was subsequently re-elected to the Lok Sabha, the lower house of the Parliament of India.
She is occasionally addressed by the Hindu honorific S?dhv?, a respectful Sanskrit title for a female renunciant.