A section of leaders from the Mumbai unit of the BJP Sunday alleged that senior Congress leader Kripashankar Singh, facing allegations of amassing disproportionate assets, virtually hijacked Uttar Pradesh cabinet minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s maiden visit to city. They also alleged that Joshi cold-shouldered them and they were kept in dark about her schedule.
Singh was seen accompanying Joshi during her programmes in Mumbai and was also spotted at a suburban five-star where Joshi is putting up. Some north Indian leaders in the BJP unit claimed to have spotted some posters of Singh welcoming Joshi, in various parts of the city.
Joshi, who was Uttar Pradesh state Congress president, switched to BJP only last year. Mumbai BJP general secretary R D Yadav said they came to know about Joshi’s visit through the sources outside BJP.
“This is extremely unfortunate and upsetting. We got the information about our leader’s visit through other sources. We will raise this issue with senior party leaders and request them to ensure that a proper cadre protocol is followed in future,” he said. Another senior leader said on the condition of anonymity that he came to know about Joshi’s visit to the city through Singh himself.
“I was shocked to hear through Kripashankar Singh that Joshi is coming here. What kind of message Joshi wants to give as Kripashankar is facing allegations of corruption. It seems that she still feels herself as a Congress leader. This is why she stayed in a five-star hotel with some Congress leaders. I have written a letter to Yogi Adityanathji (Uttar Pradesh chief minister) to take a serious note of this,” he said.
Joshi, who holds the charge of Women and Child Welfare, and Tourism departments, is on a two-day visit to Mumbai. She is scheduled to meet her Maharashtra counterpart Pankaja Munde tomorrow on implementation of Centre’s women development related schemes in Uttar Pradesh.
A senior leader in the Mumbai unit of BJP, Amarjeet Mishra said he met Joshi at a five-star hotel in Goregaon though he was not officially informed about her schedule. “Yes, I did meet her very briefly. It seemed she was very much occupied. I came to know about her firstever visit to Mumbai as a minister through some sources. Though I was not invited, I went to visit her on my own,” Mishra told PTI.
When contacted, Joshi said she had informed the presidents of the Mumbai BJP and Maharashtra state unit BJP about her visit. “I had informed Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar and state unit party president (Raosaheb Danve). In fact, several BJP leaders, including BJS general secretary Amarjeet Mishra, secretary Ajay Singh and others came to meet me and greeted me here,” she said.
However, Joshi avoided replying to a query on Singh accompanying her. Meanwhile, Shelar blamed the lack of proper communication for the confusion.
“Yes, this is true that she (Joshi) had informed me. All this (confusion) is due to lack of proper communication. We would be alert next time,” he said without elaborating. Singh cannot be contacted for comment.