Speculation Monday raged over the possibility of former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi joining BJP ahead of the assembly polls in the state. Sources in BJP said on the condition of anonymity that there have been talks between Joshi, daughter of former Chief Minister late Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, and its leaders. A decision on her joining the party can be taken soon, they said.
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67-year-old Bahuguna, currently an MLA from Lucknow Cantonment, could not be reached for her comments on the reports. Bahuguna is said to be unhappy with the Congress leadership over projection of Sheila Dikshit as the party’s chief ministerial face and feels increasingly marginalised since Raj Babbar was made the UP party chief.
She believes she had better credentials to be projected as a Brahmin chief ministerial face than Dikshit. She also faces a tough electoral prospect as Congress candidate in the coming state elections.
Bahuguna’s brother and former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna had joined the BJP a few months back.
Her joining the BJP will be a shot in its arm as it will help the saffron party consolidate Brahmin votes, eyeing which the Congress had declared Diskhit as its chief ministerial pick.