In a major setback to Congress ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls in 2017, its former UP unit president Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Thursday joined BJP. The BJP party president Amit Shah was present during the joining.
Joshi had led the Congress in the 2012 assembly polls in UP.
Joshi is presently a legislator from the Lucknow Cantt Assembly seat, and would have faced a difficult electoral contest with Samajwadi Party set to field party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav there.
Joshi had started her political career as a member of the Samajwadi Party, but had later joined the Congress. In the last couple of months, several Bahujan Samaj Party leaders have joined the BJP, including its Brahmin leader Brijesh Pathak.