[dropcap]F[/dropcap]inally, Uttar Pradesh heavy-weight Brahmin Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi joined BJP. People are speculating setback to the party ahead of polls in Uttar Pradesh but I personally feel that her exit will not make any difference to Congress and joining BJP will help out the saffron party. The funniest part is that, she gave stupid reasons to quit the party in which she spent 24 years. She said she was hurt when the party questioned the surgical strikes conducted by the Army across the LoC. She is a senior politician; she should know Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi during his road-show in Bulandshahr thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the stringent action being taken by the Indian Army. He further asserted that the Prime Minister has his full support. Anyways, as we know politicians have no ethics; they change their ideologies and loyalties as they change their garments. I am not surprised by the Bahuguna joining BJP but I was amazed that Amit Shah accepting all the tainted Congress leaders into BJP, which always claims that, they are the ‘party with a difference’.
Rita Bahuguna resigned from Congress party and her membership of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly to join the BJP was done in the presence of party president Amit Shah. Ms Joshi’s brother, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna is already in the BJP and was made a part of the party’s executive in its Allahabad meeting. While speculation was rife last week that Ms Joshi would be joining the BJP, it was a last minute announcement that confirmed the rumours. She just repeated her family history, her father and brother did the same.
There was one more reason that she wanted to quit Congress, their poll manager Prashant Kishore replaced many leaders, and he tried his best to sideline non-active Congress leaders who are aged and could not perform. Several senior party leaders were also upset that feedback from grassroot leaders was being ignored. He is a strategist and he done the same thing when he was working with BJP, remembered L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi was sidelined. Ms Joshi is rumoured to have been upset with former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit being projected as the Congress’ chief ministerial candidate and Brahmin face in Uttar Pradesh. Ms Joshi, besides being a Brahmin, is also the daughter of former Chief Minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna. Joshi squarely blamed the leadership of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for ignoring senior party leaders but had a word of praise for Congress president Sonia Gandhi for being more democratic in her functioning.
Its BJP who needs senior and seasoned leaders in UP, perhaps they thought Bahuguna being a Brahmin can save their face. Brahmins, estimated to constitute around 14 per cent of the electorate, are seen as an important vote bank in UP where BJP, Samajwadi Party and BSP seem locked in a close contest for the assembly polls due next year. Joshi has been indifferent to the party activities in the past few days, mainly during the much-hyped Kisan Yatra of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi recently concluded a month-long tour of the state to win over farmers, who form a sizeable chunk of electorate.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi was an Indian National Congress politician and an MLA from Lucknow Cantt constituency of the state of Uttar Pradesh. She was the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee from 2007 to 2012. She holds an MA and a PhD in History and is a professor in Medieval and Modern History at the University of Allahabad. She is also a recipient of a United Nations Award of Excellence and is being among the “Most Distinguished Women in South Asia.”
Rita Bahuguna held the post of mayor of Allahabad from 1995-2000. She is a former vice-president of the National Council of Women, has been president of the All India Mahila Congress since 2003 and of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee since September 2007. She has twice contested unsuccessfully in elections to the Lok Sabha. She was elected a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Lucknow Cantonment in the 2012 state elections. She contested for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow and lost. On 16 July 2009, she was detained for allegedly making derogatory remarks against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. She was later sent to the Moradabad jail on 14 days’ judicial custody.
Joshi’s speech was about the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh and the increasing number of rapes in the state. She cited a few cases in which some women were paid Rs. 25,000 compensation after being raped. She remarked that simply compensating the women with money was not enough. She was one of the party leaders arrested by the Meerut range police on 11 May 2011 from the Bhatta Parsaul village of western Uttar Pradesh along with the fellow leaders Rahul Gandhi and Digvijaya Singh. They were taking part in an agitation staged by the local farmers condemning the state government policies. Let’s see how Bahugana saves the face of BJP in Uttar Pradesh.
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