Will Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s exit hurt Congress in UP?

Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi started her political career as the Mayor of Allahabad during 1995-2000. She has stood for Lok Sabha elections twice on the Congress ticket but failed both times.

Written by Kanishka Singh | Updated: October 20, 2016 5:51 pm
rita-759 Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi. (Source: ANI)

Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi announced on Thursday that she will join the Bharatiya Janata Party. Joshi, who is MLA from Lucknow Cantt, took potshots at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Congress’ Uttar Pradesh election strategist Prashant Kishor. Her brother and former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna had also recently defected to the BJP in Uttarakhand. She had come under pressure by the party during that time to change her brother’s mind but after she failed, she was apparently sidelined in her party.

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Joshi claimed in a press conference that leaders in the party do not accept Rahul Gandhi’s leadership just like the people reject it. It is unlike Sonia Gandhi’s command, she claimed. She also highlighted tensions between her and party strategist Prashant Kishor saying he can be a poll manager but not a poll director.

Rita Bahuguna is the daughter of former UP chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna who was also a freedom fighter. Rita Bahuguna was serving as the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president before Raj Babbar replaced him on Rahul Gandhi’s and Prashant Kishor’s reshuffle of the party unit before the election.

She holds a PhD in History and is also professor in Medieval and Modern History, University of Allahabad. Rita has won several leadership accolades during her political career including the “Most Distinguished Woman in South Asia” award by the United Nations Award of Excellence. She is also a former vice president of the women’s body NCW and president of the All India Mahila Congress.

She started her political career as the Mayor of Allahabad during 1995-2000. She has stood for Lok Sabha elections twice on the Congress ticket but failed both times. In 2012, she was elected to the UP Assembly.

In 2009, she was sent to judicial custody for making derogatory remarks on the then UP CM Mayawati. In May 2011, Joshi was arrested by Meerut Police along with Rahul Gandhi and party General Secretary Digvijaya Singh for participating in the Bhatta Parsaul agitation over farmers’ land acquisition by the government.

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  1. C
    Chander Pal
    Oct 20, 2016 at 2:27 pm
    Election season birds start flocking. Rita in Bjp, Sidhu out of Bjp. Surprise is the deals which are stuck and then irrelevant reasons are invented for the flight.
    Reply
    1. I
      IML sood
      Oct 20, 2016 at 2:29 pm
      What a confusing heading to this news, no hurting or non hurting,it is Cong. Mukt time now in UP, so this party existence is in danger and these are nails to its coffin.
      Reply
      1. M
        Myrake
        Oct 20, 2016 at 6:45 pm
        Nothing can hurt Cingress. Nothing left to hurt!!lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;This is like telling man who is used to stay n a k e d (not out of wisdom), do you have any other shame!
        Reply
        1. R
          RAKESH SHARDA
          Oct 20, 2016 at 2:20 pm
          It is a good catch by BJPlt;br/gt;The party will utilise her talent fully.
          Reply
          1. V
            Vikas
            Oct 20, 2016 at 1:46 pm
            These plan will backfire to BJP..no one is UP thinks she has iota of leadership she will proved to be liability...
            Reply
            1. A
              A. KHAN
              Oct 20, 2016 at 11:29 am
              WE ARE WITH B J P . MANY OF THE MUS LIMS IN U.P. ARE NOW SUPPORTING B J P, BECAUSE WE ARE FED UP OF POLITICS AND FALSE PROMISES AND CORRUPTION.....WE WANT GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT LIKE OTHER STATES LIKE GUJRAT, TN, JHARKHAND....
              Reply
              1. R
                Ramakrishnan Iyer
                Oct 20, 2016 at 2:21 pm
                These people have no ideology. They are with a party for long. Used to praise or approve everything of their leaders. One fine morning, they turn everything. Great. She is only changing for the first time, I think. In many other cases, they change every two/three years for the sake of money or position.
                Reply
                1. K
                  kajal
                  Oct 20, 2016 at 2:10 pm
                  shame less brain less lady lt;br/gt;even don't have respect her self
                  Reply
                  1. N
                    Nitin
                    Oct 20, 2016 at 7:08 pm
                    A lame horse can never win.
                    Reply
                    1. M
                      Mahalingam Challa
                      Oct 20, 2016 at 12:04 pm
                      Now, with the news of Mrs. Bahuguna leaving Congress, now people in UP has come to know that there is a party called Congress. So, it is somewhat beneficial to Congress, eventhough there is no chance of winning.
                      Reply
                      1. M
                        M Vyas
                        Oct 20, 2016 at 6:05 pm
                        Not so important her joining BJP in terms of winning additional seats but wherever she will go for election Champaign, she will expose Rahul hi and defame his leadership
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          Ashok Mazumdar
                          Oct 20, 2016 at 1:14 pm
                          Her leaving Congress is Good for Congress.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;BJP to get suffocated with her.lt;br/gt;Mirzafir will be ddisastrous for BJP
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Arun Kumar
                            Oct 20, 2016 at 1:25 pm
                            Many are in searh of green turf in BJP BSP SP. Congress has to look at new faces who can take others by horns. After Vijay Bahuguna episode her exit was just a matter of convenient time, this she got and defected.
                            Reply
                            1. M
                              Muniandi
                              Oct 20, 2016 at 12:53 pm
                              let anyone join any party. IT IS OK AS LONG AS THE RAHULO SONIO ITALIANO DO NOT COME BACK TO POWER AND RUIN INDIA AGAIN WITH THE HELP OF PUPPETS LIKE MMS, PC, ZERO-LOSS, FROG-MOUTH TIWARY,
                              Reply
                              1. C
                                C
                                Oct 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm
                                Her action means little in terms of political 'gain' or 'loss.' But it once again rveals the sickness that has gripped the INC for decades, namely the notion that one family somehow must hold its reins and make all policy decisions. The INC is a party of cronies. Gutless opportunists fill its leaders' list.
                                Reply
                                1. G
                                  Ghoda Murshatpur
                                  Oct 20, 2016 at 12:48 pm
                                  BJP has shot in own leg by admitting Rita Joshi in it's fold. How can a person who for entire decade was spewing venom against BJP and it's leaders canv for the BJP in coming elections? Her old recordings will be used against BJP !
                                  Reply
                                  1. K
                                    Kabir Singh
                                    Oct 20, 2016 at 12:59 pm
                                    She is a non eny when it comes to get votes.At the most she can help win Lucknow and Bareilly seats which have sizeable potion of people from hills.But even they not like her and are under BJP fold alreadylt;br/gt;Her brothers tenure in Uttarakhand was the most corrupt regime in Uttarakhand ever.I think BJP will loose some votes by admitting her as a w.lt;br/gt;Brother and sister are too selfish to take Hemwati Nandan Bahugana ji's legacy,who was a political stalwart.
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Raman Govindan
                                      Oct 20, 2016 at 12:17 pm
                                      it is a mistake on the part of BJP to admit her into its fold. she should campaign vigorously with full belief for what BJP stands for and admit her after 3 years if she wants and BJP is satisfied!
                                      Reply
                                      1. T
                                        tushar
                                        Oct 20, 2016 at 2:38 pm
                                        Don't think she will add any value!
                                        Reply
                                        1. D
                                          Dharamvir Saihgal
                                          Oct 20, 2016 at 4:34 pm
                                          A democratic joke or a political gimmick? Irony may die,but hypocrisy lives.
                                          Reply
                                          1. X
                                            xyz
                                            Oct 20, 2016 at 2:01 pm
                                            Hi, Hindu Bhakta how are you?
                                            Reply
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