With the former Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi joining Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)on Thursday, the BJP seems to be gaining an upper hand in wooing upper caste voters, particularly Brahmins, who are expected to play a major role in trans-Yamuna areas of the district.
The district Congress leadership accused her of ditching the party and joining hands with a non-secular party. The BJP leaders have welcomed her decision, claiming that the party would get a boost in forthcoming Assembly elections.
Joshi maintained that it was a tough decision as she had served Congress for 24 years but she has taken the decision in the interest of the nation.
The Congress leadership claimed that despite being from a secular family she has proved herself as an opportunist.
Congress spokesperson Javed Urfi said the soul of former chief minister Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna would be hurt as his daughter had left a secular party. He claimed that Congress party had given her name and fame but she proved herself to be an opportunist.
District general secretary of Congress Haseeb Ahmad said that Rita Bahuguna had betrayed Congress. He alleged that Joshi has joined hands with a non-secular group. Political experts said that although Rita Bahuguna Joshi is not seen as a major force in state except Allahabad and Lucknow, but her induction in the saffron party will undercut Congress party’s Brahmin outreach that has been its when former Delhi chief minister Shiela Dikshit was projected as the chief ministerial nominee.
Brahmins, estimated to constitute around 14% of the electorate, are seen as an important vote bank in UP. BJP seems to have taken another step ahead to woo the community.
The fact is that Rita Joshi had been indifferent in the party activities in the past few days became evident when she was also not active during Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra in Allahabad.
Her brother and former Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna had joined BJP in May this year.
Mritunjay Tiwari, member, BJP national executive (Kisan Morcha) said induction of Rita Bahuguna in party may help BJP in wooing upper caste voters.