In a jolt to the Congress, senior leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi resigned from that party and her membership of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday to join the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah. Joshi was reportedly unhappy with “being sidelined” in the party. She also slams Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his ‘Khoon ki dalali’ remark.
Rita Bahuguna Joshi said, “Today I have resigned from Congress to join BJP. Developments in recent past have left me numb.”
Hitting out at Rahul for his “khoon ki dalali” remarks and for demanding proof of the surgical strikes, she added, “Rahul Gandhi’s leadership is not acceptable to people.”
She also resigned as the member of legislative assembly. Criticising the Congress party, she said further that the party has lost ground and does not provide an alternative in UP. Casting fresh doubts on Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s leadership qualities; she said that Gandhi was not being able to continue the political legacy of her mother and party president Sonia Gandhi.
Joshi, the Congress’ Brahmin face and daughter of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, is said to have fallen out with her former party after it decided to project former Delhi Chief Minister (CM) Sheila Dikshit as its CM candidate in the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections.
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.
She also attacked poll strategist Prashant Kishor and said, “A poll manager cannot replace a leader. Not only me but several senior party leaders are also upset that feedback from grass root leaders was being ignored.”
“That the Congress should reach a stage where its election strategy is being sub-contracted to such managers says a lot of the state of the leadership,” she said.