Rumours have surrounded Rita Bahuguna Joshi since a few media reports have been saying she is joining BJP and has already met party president Amit Shah in this regard. If she joins BJP, it will be a major setback for Congress which is eager to revive its fortune in politically crucial Uttar Pradesh in the 2017 Assembly elections. The MLA from Lucknow cantt is a veteran Congress leader.
According to media reports, ever since her brother and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna Joshi switched over to the BJP, she was sidelined.
Notably, Joshi, former Uttar Pradesh Congress president, younger sister of Vijay Bahuguna, former Uttarakhand chief minister, was assigned the task by the Congress high command to persuade her elder brother Bahuguna not to align with the opposition BJP and return home with dignity.
In 2012, the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi offered to resign owning moral responsibility for the poll debacle. The Congress had finished fourth in the Assembly elections which Rahul Gandhi had led from the front and the party could secure only 28 seats. Even in Amethi and Rae Bareli, the strongholds of Gandhi family, the results were a surprising to the party as it managed to win only two of the ten Assembly seats.
A Congress stalwart in Uttar Pradesh, Joshi was presumed to be a key player in party’s Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s team. If she joins BJP, the party will have a shot in the arm. Recent surveys have said the ruling party at the Centre will emerge as numero uno party in Uttar Pradesh after the 2017 Assembly elections. However, it might turn out to be a so near yet so far story for it as the party will fall short of majority of its own, as per the survey. Joshi’s inclusion in party fold will only bolster its arsenal and may provide that thrust which is needed. Joshi knows UP politics like the palm of her hand and her knowledge can prove to be a cutting-edge. On the other hand, it will deal a crushing blow to Congress. It will be interesting to see what transpires in this game of throne.
Rita Bahuguna’s father late HN Bahuguna led undivided Uttar Pradesh in the 70s and is still revered as a leader of the masses. Among the children of HN Bahuguna, the first to enter politics was Rita. It was Rita who guided Vijay’s transformation from a judge to a hard-nosed politician. Vijay joined the Congress after resigning as a judge of Bombay high court in the mid 90s. Rita is said to have enjoyed a good rapport with the Congress first family.
Earlier, the BSP had accused BJP of indulging in “misuse of power” by poaching people from other parties. So far, number of MLAs from opposition parties, including prominent BSP leader Swami Prasad Maurya, have joined BJP. The party has inducted 10 MLAs from BSP , three from Congress and one from ruling SP. Reports are saying, many more will join BJP.