In a major jolt to the Congress, Uttar Pradesh party leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi announced her decision to join Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a press conference in New Delhi on Thursday. She said that she had decided to quit Congress when party vice president Rahul Gandhi had questioned the surgical strikes by the Indian Army. She also said that she was saddened by Rahul's 'Khun ki dalali' remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
President of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee Raj Babbar took a jibe at Rita Bahuguna’s exit from the Congress Party on Thursday.
Raj Babbar said, “She (Rita) was the professor of History, probably this is the reason why she is not able to forget her family’s past which has a history of repeating the past events. This is for the fourth or fifth time in their family, Babbar added.
Excerpts from Joshi's press conference:
# I continued raising my voice within the Congress Party
# Congress has handed over everything to Prashant Kishore in Uttar Pradesh
# It is said that the party gives itself on contract to someone
# I was sad with the stand taken by Congress on the issue of surgical strikes against Pakistan
# Congress should not have used the words like 'Khoon ki dalali'
# Congress followed smaller parties to question the surgical strike, I decided at that time that I should quit Congress party.
# I praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter of surgical strike, I also praised Indian Army for the operations.
# There is a mafia rule in Uttar Pradesh.
# There is zero governance in Uttar Pradesh
# We should work to free Uttar Pradesh from Congress and Samajwadi Party
Who is Rita Bahuguna Joshi
Rita Bahuguna Joshi is an Congress MLA from Lucknow Cantt constituency of Uttar Pradesh. She served as the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee from 2007 to 2012.
Rita Bahuguna, daughter of former UP chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, was the Samajwadi Party mayor of Allahabad from 1995-2000.
She was a former vice-president of the National Council of Women.
She has been president of the All India Mahila Congress since 2003 and of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee since September 2007.
Bahuguna has twice contested and lost the Lok Sabha eections.
She won assembly elections from the Lucknow Cantonment in 2012.
She again contested lost the 2014 Lok Sabha elections also.
Both Beni Prasad Verma and Ms Joshi are old ruling Samajwadi Party leaders.