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Saying Rahul Gandhi not acceptable to people, Rita Bahuguna Joshi joins BJP

A prominent Brahmin face of the party, Joshi had served as Congress party UP president between 2007-2012.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2016 4:58:29 am
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In a setback to the Congress in the run-up to the UP assembly polls, former state party president Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Thursday joined the BJP, slamming Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for being “unresponsive”. She said Rahul’s comments about the Prime Minister doing “khoon ki dalali” over the sacrifice of soldiers was the final trigger for her exit from the Congress.

Welcomed into the party fold by BJP president Amit Shah, Joshi said: “BJP has no agenda but development, no myopic view… India is fighting terrorism and the Modi government has given the Army a free hand. Besides the valour of the Army, the government’s strong leadership was also behind the surgical strikes. Along with the nation, I too was happy… The Congress, however, behaved like a small party and went on to question it. The whole nation was upset with a phrase like ‘khoon ki dalali’.”

She said the Congress has a leadership problem since Rahul is “not acceptable to the people of the country and is unwilling to listen to people in the party. Mrs (Sonia) Gandhi, whether she agreed with you or not, at least heard you out”.

Read | Rita Bahuguna to leave Uttar Pradesh Congress?

Representing Lucknow Cantonment in the UP assembly, Joshi said she had sent her resignation to the Speaker. Daughter of the late Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, Joshi also criticised the Congress for turning to poll strategist Prashant Kishore, saying it is a statement about the party that a “poll manager” is striving to be its leader.

The Congress hit back, calling her an “opportunist” and a “betrayer.”

Read | Rita Bahuguna Joshi: ‘Prashant Kishor can be poll manager, not poll director’

Ghulam Nabi Azad, AICC general secretary in charge of UP, said Joshi was looking for a “safe seat” ever since the SP announced that Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav would be its candidate from Lucknow Cantonment.

“She has been hunting for a safe seat because she felt she will not win. She hunted for a safe seat in the BSP, SP and has now gone to the BJP. Such opportunist leaders do not stick to one place. First, she was in SP, then Congress and now in BJP… nobody knows where she will go tomorrow,” Azad said.

On her attack on Rahul’s leadership, Azad said these are “excuses”. “Jo bhaag jaata hai, woh gaali de ke bhaag jaata hai (whoever leaves indulges in slander).”

UP Congress chief Raj Babbar too hit out at Joshi and the BJP. He said the “one-point programme of the BJP is to amass an army of traitors”.

 

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