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Jolt to Congress: Rita Bahuguna joins BJP, slams Rahul Gandhi for disparaging remarks of “Dalali” at PM Narendra Modi regarding Surgical Strikes

67 year old, Joshi is the daughter of the renowned Congress veteran late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna who has been highly speculated over deserting the Congress party

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Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Youtube
  • Rahul Gandhi was attacked by Rita Bahuguna Joshi over his methods of running the party and his response to the Surgical Strikes by the army
  • She strongly repented the present conditions of the party affairs
  • Joshi claimed that Rahul’s barb at Modi presented Pakistan with an opportunity to question the Surgical Strikes

October 20, 2016: In poll-bound Uttar Pradesh, it was  a jolt to Congress when Rita Bahuguna Joshi, the leader of the senior party, joined BJP. Following her joining, Rahul Gandhi was attacked by Joshi over his methods of running the party and his response to the Surgical Strikes by the army.

67-year-old Joshi is the daughter of the renowned Congress veteran late Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna who has been highly speculated over deserting the Congress party. Today, in the presence of the president of the BJP party Amit Shah, Joshi joined the party at the headquarters in New Delhi.

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There can be no alternative to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP party- a former president of UPCC, resigning today from the power of a Congress MLA, was reported as saying.

Joshi was said to be not happy regarding the leadership of Congress over the projection of Sheila Dikshit as the face of its chief minister in UP. She strongly repented the present conditions of the party affairs and has alleged that the extremely poor shape of the party has led it to hand over the working contractually to Prashant Kishore, the strategist.

Joshi stated that she has been utterly disheartened by recent events and slammed Rahul for his disparaging remarks of “Dalali” at Modi, regarding the Surgical Strikes.

Rahul Gandhi. Wikimedia
Rahul Gandhi. Wikimedia

“Along with the nation, I too was happy. The whole world accepted India’s arguments behind the strikes. Congress, however, behaved like a small party and went on to question it. The whole nation was upset with a phrase like ‘khoon like dalali’,” she said attacking Gandhi.

Joshi claimed that his barb presented Pakistan with an opportunity to question the Surgical Strikes. Joshi stated that out of her political career of 27 years, 24 years had been spent in Congress and only 10 months in the Samajwadi Party. She added, “The decision to quit Congress was not easy. However, I took it in the interest of the nation and the state (UP).”

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Joining of Joshi in the party will supposedly boost up the efforts of BJP to combine the Brahmin voters into a single unit as it looks forward to undergo a colossal transfiguration and rise to power in the state after a huge time of 15 years.

– prepared by Antara Kumar with PTI inputs. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Will Congress Party be Able to Survive in Future in Face of Modi Onslaught?

It was India’s “Grand Old Party.” The Congress Party ruled the country for 55 out of 71 years since independence

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From left, Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi, her son and party President Rahul Gandhi, and former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attend a Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi, May 25, 2019. VOA

It was India’s “Grand Old Party.” The Congress Party ruled the country for 55 out of 71 years since independence. But following the party’s crushing electoral debacle for a second time, there are questions about its future as the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty at its helm is unable to counter the most powerful leader India has produced in decades: Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Contrary to expectations, India’s mammoth general election turned out to be virtually a no-contest between Modi and Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi as it became a presidential-style battle.

“It is not what went wrong with the Congress, it is more of a story of what went right for Prime Minister Modi. He stood as a tall leader, as an achiever, as somebody who understood people’s aspirations,” says political commentator Rasheed Kidwai, who has authored a biography of Rahul Gandhi’s mother, Sonia Gandhi. On the other hand, “Rahul Gandhi is temperamentally not a power wielder. He is a trustee of power.”

The sixth member of the Nehru Gandhi family to lead the party, Rahul is often seen as a “reluctant politician”, despite his spirited campaign to revive the party and challenge Modi after its rout in 2014.

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves toward his supporters during an election campaign rally in New Delhi, May 8, 2019. VOA

Gandhi’s rallies drew crowds, but his efforts to project Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party as a threat to India’s secular traditions or to highlight issues of economic distress failed to resonate. His attempts to nail him for corruption in a deal to buy Rafale French fighter jets fell flat. His promise of a minimum wage for India’s poorest families was met with skepticism, even among the poor.

On the other hand, Modi, successfully wooed voters with his message of strident nationalism and subtle appeal to the majority Hindu community. Along with it, there was another theme: he projected himself as the humble son of a tea seller, a self made man who fought all odds to reach the top post in contrast to what he called the “entitled” Gandhi who had inherited the mantle of leadership of the Congress Party. It drew cheers from the country’s emerging middle and lower-middle classes, exhausted with dynastic politics.

The Congress Party’s tally of 52 seats in parliament was only a notch higher than the 44 seats it won in 2014 in the 545-member parliament. The party’s candidates returned empty-handed in half the Indian states and in several others the party only mustered a single digit tally.Modi’s BJP won 303 seats.

The scale of its losses not just crushed hopes the Congress Party would either lead a credible challenge to Modi or return as invigorated opposition – it once again raised questions over the leadership of the Gandhi family.

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The sixth member of the Nehru Gandhi family to lead the party, Rahul is often seen as a “reluctant politician”, despite his spirited campaign to revive the party and challenge Modi after its rout in 2014. VOA

Rahul Gandhi has offered to resign, but expectedly the party that has no second rung of leadership has turned it down. “The party will fulfill its role as a strong opposition. We need Rahul Gandhi to lead us in these challenging times,” Congress Party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said after a meeting of the party’s senior leaders on the weekend.

Rahul Gandhi also lost the Amethi constituency the party had held for 50 years in Uttar Pradesh state. In another humiliating blow for the Gandhi family, his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was appointed in a senior post to revive the party, failed to make an impact. Rahul’s mother, Sonia Gandhi, won her party’s only seat in the state.

Rahul Gandhi’s victory in another constituency in South India means he will continue to be a lawmaker. Dynastic politics is not limited to the Congress Party: lawmakers from political families are a routine feature of Indian politics. But political commentators say in an era showing a preference for strong, populist leaders, Modi was the clear victor.

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here are questions about its future as the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty at its helm is unable to counter the most powerful leader India has produced in decades: Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Wikimedia Commons

“There is a new sense of nationalism sweeping across many conventional democracies. There is a yearning for a strong leader that captures the public imagination,” according to political analyst Ajoy Bose. “I don’t really see the conventional Congress Party or the conventional leadership mounting a challenge to Modi. He has completely taken the country by storm.”

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Gandhi tried to give a positive message after the party’s rout. “We have a different vision of India [from Modi]”, said the head of the party that has long projected itself as a defender of India’s minorities, such as Muslims who worry about religious polarization and a rise in hate crimes since Modi came to power. “There is no need to be afraid. We will continue to work hard and we will eventually win.”

But it may be difficult to reinvent what analysts call a “fading party.” They say Modi’s BJP now occupies the dominant political space that the Congress party did for decades. “Congress is going to get reduced to, you know, like the Liberals did in Britain,” says Rasheed Kidwai. (VOA)