UP polls: Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi likely to switch to BJP

Rita Bahuguna Joshi's brother Vijay Bahuguna left Congress to join BJP in May this year.

Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi is likely to join Bharatiya Janata Party, media reports said Bahuguna, a sitting MLA from Lucknow Cantonment, will give a serious jolt to the grand old party ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh scheduled to be held next year. She had served as the party’s Uttar Pradesh unit chief from 2007 to 2012.

“These are just rumours, there is no truth in them,” former Uttarakhand chief minister and BJP leader Vijay Bahuguna, said when asked about his sister’s intentions of joining BJP.

It should be noted that Vijay Bahuguna, a two-time Congress MP, joined the saffron party along with eight other rebel MLAs in Uttarakhand this year. He and the remaining legislators were disqualified from the Uttarakhand Assembly as per the anti-defection law.

The defection had forced the imposition of President’s Rule in the state, leaving the Harish Rawat government in crisis.

Later, Rawat won the floor test in the Assembly, leading to a lot for embarrassment for the party. Rita Bahuguna Joshi still remains an active leader of the party in Uttar Pradesh, wherein the Congress has fielded former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit for the Assembly polls.

The Congress had performed poorly in the 2012 UP Assembly polls, finishing fourth. Joshi had actively participated in the election campaign and also accompanied party vice-president Rahul Gandhi during the rallies.

Joshi has contested Lok Sabha elections twice from Lucknow, which turned unsuccessful one.