After her brother and former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna joined the BJP, there are speculations about former chief of UP Congress, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, joining the saffron party “because of her being sidelined in the grand old party of India”.
Daughter of former UP Chief Minister HN Bahuguna, Rita Bahuguna Joshi is the former mayor of Allahabad. The former UPCC president had recently met BJP national president Amit Shah, fuelling speculations about her switching sides.
Following reports in the media about her imminent defection, Joshi issued a denial saying: “I have been a committed worker of Congress for the last two decades and there was no substance in reports about my switching loyalty.”
Even Congress’s CM candidate Shiela Dixit issued a statement in Varanasi saying that Rita Bahuguna would not join BJP. “She is in Congress and will remain in this party,” she said.
Joshi is a sitting Congress MLA from Lucknow Cantonment Assembly seat.”It’s a win-win situation for Rita Bahuguna Joshi if she joins the BJP, because the Samajwadi Party has fielded Mulayam’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav from Lucknow Cantonment constituency. She cannot win this election on the Congress ticket. So, the BJP is the only option left for her,” said a senior leader.
Meanwhile, Congress sources said Joshi is on the backfoot ever since her brother and former CM Vijay Bahuguna led an unsuccessful attempt to topple the Harish Rawat government in Uttarakhand. He was later disqualified and ultimately joined the BJP, along with eight other disqualified rebel MLAs.
Sources said the Congress high command had then used Rita Bahuguna Joshi to defuse the situation but she failed in convincing her brother.