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Twice-born patriot, loser of two elections, Rita Bahuguna Joshi could be a real BJP asset

Rita Bahuguna Joshi may turn out to be a real asset for the BJP.

Under her leadership, the Congress slumped to a historic low in the previous Assembly elections.

The feisty leader, daughter of the illustrious Hemwanti Nandan Bahuguna, who was beaten by Amitabh Bachchan in 1984, has herself lost two Lok Sabha elections.

And, in 2009, after insulting Mayawati, Bahuguna was sent to jail. She had famously argued at Moradabad that "one should throw this money (compensation to a victim) in Maya's face and tell her 'if you get raped, I'll give you one crore'."

 Twice-born patriot, loser of two elections, Rita Bahuguna Joshi could be a real BJP asset

Rita Bahuguna Joshi. Image courtesy: Twitter

She would obviously give former BJP vice-president Dayashankar Singh good company.

It is possible that Bahuguna learnt from her mistakes and successive electoral defeats. And, in an election, every party needs politicians who are quick learners. So, BJP may find her experience handy.

Also, she is a Brahmin leader, if not by reputation at least by birth and matrimony.

The BJP, it is apparent, is keen to make the most of the Army's electoral strikes on terror launch pads along the Line of Control. Not a day goes by when somebody or the other doesn't remind me of the Army's achievement under the NDA's leadership.

But, this must be the first time in Indian history that a surgical strike launched across the LoC has made a politician reconsider her political affiliation and ideology. Bahuguna, in a bout of rousing patriotism, has dedicated her defection to the surgical strike, claiming she was unhappy that the Congress was questioning it.

It is besides the point that even if the Army had not fired a shot, Bahuguna would have re-launched her career. Ever since she was supplanted by Sheila Dixit as the Congress CM candidate in the poll-bound state, Bahuguna was waiting to strike. That she has crossed the line of party control sighting the surgical strikes would make BJP happy: It gives the party another opportunity to keep the subject in popular discussion.

It can be hoped that Bahuguna pledging fealty to surgical strikes would also wipe out memories of some of the verbal grenades she had lobbed at the BJP and its top leadership while in the Congress.

In the past, she had blamed Modi's silence for the Gujarat "massacre", argued that RSS ideology was making campus after campus burn, accused Smriti Irani of lying on the JNU episode, sought a fair trial for Ishrat Jahan, and, hear, hear, advised caution in India-Pakistan relations, not the whimsical attitude of the Prime Minister.

Now that Bahuguna, like a true Allahabadi, has taken a dip in the cleansing Ganga of 'surgical strikes', all her past sins may have obviously been washed away. Like her brother, she may have emerged as clean as the outcome of the Clean Ganga project.

Apart from her born-again nationalistic credentials, Bahuguna's move has also underlined the supreme incompetence of Rahul Gandhi in keeping his flock together. Till a few days ago, Gandhi was travelling from village to village with a khaat in hand, seeking votes for his party?

How does he expect people to vote for the Congress when his own erstwhile deputy runs away in search of saffron pastures? And, this isn't the first time Gandhi has been shown up as a novice whose writ, like Bahadur Shah Zafar's empire that ended at Lal Quila, doesn't extend beyond his Tughlaq lane residence.

In the run up to Assam polls, one fine morning Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma skipped his appointment with Gandhi and instead appeared at Amit Shah's house for breakfast, leaving the Congress VP with enough freetime to play with his poodles. A few months ago, after promising loyalty to the Congress VP, chief minister Prema Khandu and his MLAs quit Congress overnight, making Gandhi look like a charlatan. And before that Vijay Bahuguna had toppled the Uttarakhand government after being handpicked by Gandhi.

Once is tragedy, twice coincidence, thrice enemy action and every time after that just a joke cracked on a gullible, so-called leader. Gandhi is walking around with so many daggers stabbed in his back that it no longer incites sympathy for him; the sight only evokes prayers that his pain end as soon as possible.

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Updated Date: Oct 20, 2016 18:46:34 IST

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