Rita joins BJP; in her parting shot attacks Rahul
With a fierce parting shot at Rahul Gandhi calling him a `non-performing’ leader, senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who was at one time state president of the party, joined BJP saying the country needs the leadership of Narendra Modi.
For some time, speculations have been rife about her joining BJP but the real action was kept under wraps with the senior Congress leader saying she was loyal to Gandhi family and will not leave the party at any cost.
She betrayed the loyalty when she threw punches at Rahul Gandhi saying: “His (Rahul’s) leadership was acceptable to none. Soniaji used to listen to us, but that is not happening under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. He has outsourced the entire party to PK overnight,”
“Not just the UP Congress, but the entire nation is unhappy with the leadership of Rahul Gandhi,” Joshi said, adding that Gandhi’s criticism of PM Modi after the Indian Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control or LoC and the Congress’ demand for proof had made her “angry.”
“UP wants the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He has shown with his vision how he can take the country to a new height,” she said.
Her vitriol against Congress is a reflection of her frustration after she was sidelined in the party. In 2012 assembly election, Rahul led the campaign and she was pushed behind him. After the poll debacle, she, being state president, was left alone to fend herself facing the barb. Her stock in the party fell after her brother and former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna joined BJP.
The catch is a big boost for BJP as politically it will be a counter to the Congress move to lure Brahmin votes just before crucial assembly elections. Congress has projected Shiela Dixit as the party’s CM face but with Rita Bahuguna Joshi joining BJP, the wind has gone out of Congress’ sail.
Daughter of former UP Chief Minister HN Bahuguna, Rita Bahuhuna Joshi is the former Mayor of Allahabad. The former UPCC president had recently met BJP national president Amit Shah fueling speculations about her switching flanks.
Joshi is a sitting Congress MLA from Lucknow Cantonment Assembly seat. “It’s a win-win situation for Rita Bahuguna Joshi because Samajwadi Party has fielded Mulayam’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav from Lucknow Cantonment constituency. She cannot win this election on Congress ticket. So BJP is the only option left for her,” said a senior leader.
BJP state general secretary Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that Rita Bahuguna Joshi has an influence over people from Uttarakhand who live in Lucknow and adjoining areas. Her joining BJP will help the party to make inroads into that vote bank, he said.