Infuriated over senior leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi quitting the party, Youth Congress workers today burnt her effigy outside the state Assembly building here.
While she has a litany of grievances, including being overlooked for UPCC screening and campaign committees, one of the lesser discussed triggers for quitting may have been the party's disinterest in her keenness on launching her son, Mayank Joshi, in the UP assembly polls. However, the former UP congress chief was of the opinion that she has better potential to be projected as a Brahmin chief ministerial face than Dikshit.
True to the speculations, Uttar Pradesh Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Thursday joined the BJP.
On joining the BJP in the presence of its chief Amit Shah on Thursday, Joshi said that Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi did not listen to others in the party, and that people had rejected his leadership. In her 27-year political career, Joshi has been with the Samajwadi Party, the Congress and now the BJP. "A large number of Congress leaders in UP are disillusioned and are looking for opportunities to leave the party", said Joshi.
On Rahul margilanising Joshi, Babbar said that Rahul is ensuring intra-party democracy and is listening to everyone. "Now another leader (read Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav) too is raising the same point which I raised once", said Babbar.
Asked whether he expects others to follow Ms Bahuguna in joining the BJP, Mr Babbar said, "I don't think everybody is selfish".
In a fierce attack on the Congress Vice President, Joshi said: "His leadership is not acceptable not just to Uttar Pradesh but the entire nation". "Sonia Gandhi used to listen to us before taking any decision, but it has become hard under Rahul Gandhi to even say something", she said.
The daughter of Congress veteran Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, was the Congress president in UP. "When one of the biggest parties of the country raises doubts over surgical strikes, what would be the impression of the country in the world", she said.
Joshi, a former Uttar Pradesh Congress chief, also took on Congress poll manager in Uttar Pradesh Prashant Kishor, saying "a poll manager can never be a poll director". "The whole nation was upset with a phrase like "khoon like dalali", she said.
The Congress reacted with predictable disdain to Joshi's desertion. Congress, however, behaved like a small party and went on to question it.
Apart from the Gandhi scion, she was also extremely critical of poll strategist Prashant Kishor who is said to have played a crucial role in sidelining her party's day to day affairs. The party has been handed over to him on a contract.
"Caste- based politics which was introduced in Uttar Pradesh by the SP and the BSP have not led to development of the state".