Congress defends Rahul Gandhi, slams ‘opportunist’ Rita Bahuguna

By: ANI | New Delhi / Bengaluru | Updated: October 21, 2016 5:32 pm
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The Congress Party on Friday dubbed Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who switched sides to the BJP, as an “opportunist” and alleged that the saffron party has a script ready for every single individual joining its fold.

Congress leader Tom Vaddakan took on the BJP for Joshi’s outburst against party vice-president Rahul Gandhi. “When somebody leaves, they have to say something negative. The BJP has a script ready for every person, who has to read it after joining their camp and she has read it….she has gone there for an opportunistic reason and that is her basic reason,” Vaddakan told ANI in New Delhi.

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He alleged that Joshi joined the BJP as she was scared of the candidature of Dimple Yadav, the daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. “There has been also her father, who left the party but then he at least sustained himself on a secular platform. But here is something she has gone to the other side essentially to improve her prospects in her constituency where she is finding difficult to contest the Mulayam Singh family. So, that is the reason why she has gone out,” he added.

It may be recalled here that Joshi’s father Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna, had quit the Congress twice, for brief recesses. In 1977, he launched ‘Congress for Democracy’, a front that didn’t last for long. Again in 1980, he cut out.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge told ANI in Bengaluru that Joshi’s decision to join the BJP would not create any impact, adding it is useless and baseless for people to always blame Rahul Gandhi

“It is very unfortunate why she has left the Congress and she was with the Congress for many years. On personal grounds if she goes that’s a different thing but she cannot blame Rahul Gandhi ji or Congress leadership….I also don’t think she would make any great impact in particular. She is not going to add anything to BJP,” he added.

In what came as a major setback for the Congress in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, Joshi on Thursday formally joined the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah.

Read:  Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s exit from Congress: ‘Denied tickets’, Sheila Dikshit’s nomination main reasons

Joshi told the media that she was “hurt when the Indian National Congress questioned the surgical strikes by the Army along the Line of Control” and that it was unseemly for a party like the Congress to have done so.

“The country was happy that Pakistan was being given a fitting reply. I was happy too, but the Congress behaved like a small party and questioned the surgical strikes. The whole nation was upset with Rahul Gandhi using words like ‘khoon ki dalali’ (blood trader) for PM Modi,” she said.

The former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief also said that she was hurt by the importance accorded to election strategist Prashant Kishor. “A poll manager cannot replace a leader,” she said.