UP assembly polls 2017: Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the Congress deserter, who is yet to be BJP favourite

Will former Congress leader and newbie in the BJP, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, be able to create her own space in the upcoming UP assembly elections?

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Lucknow, Jan 5: When former Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi quit the party to join the BJP last year, it came as a little surprise to many. However, what left everyone amazed was the reason cited by Joshi to leave the Congress. Everyone knew the 67-year-old Brahmin leader from Uttar Pradesh was unhappy with the Congress' decision to name Sheila Dikshit as the chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming UP assembly elections.

While addressing a joint press meet with BJP president Amit Shah after joining the new party, Joshi said she was unhappy about the way the Congress criticised Narendra Modi government for carrying out surgical strikes against Pakistan. She added that it was an insult to the country and the Indian Army.

Rita Bahuguna: From Congress to BJP

We have heard very little about Joshi, since she joined the BJP last October.

Know more about her...

Birth and education: She was born on July 22, 1949, in Uttarakhand (formerly Uttaranchal). Joshi is the daughter of Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, who was the former CM of UP.

The 67-year-old BJP leader holds an MA and a PhD in History and was a professor in Medieval and Modern History at the University of Allahabad, UP.

Political career: Joshi's first big post as an elected representative was that of mayor of Allahabad, UP, from 1995-2000. She was also the former vice president of the National Council of Women and president of the All India Mahila Congress.

The BJP politician has twice contested unsuccessfully in elections to the Lok Sabha. However, she was elected as a member of the legislative assembly for the Lucknow Cantonment during the UP elections in 2012. Joshi had also contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow, but lost.

Controversies: The senior BJP politician courted arrest in 2009, for allegedly making derogatory remarks about the then UP CM Mayawati.

She was once again arrested along with Congress leaders, Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh, from Bhatta Parsaul village, UP, in May 2011.

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