U.P. Assembly polls Uttar pradesh

U.P. Assembly election | BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi offers to resign to secure ticket for son

Rita Bahuguna Joshi with Amit Shah in New Delhi. File photo

Rita Bahuguna Joshi with Amit Shah in New Delhi. File photo

BJP’s Allahabad MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi on Tuesday publicly offered to give up her Lok Sabha membership if the party fields her son from Lucknow Cantonment in the coming State polls.

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Ms. Joshi, who met party’s U.P. in charge Dharmendra Pradhan in Delhi, said her son had been active in the Assembly constituency and should get party ticket. She, however, denied that she was lobbying for him.

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Speaking to mediapersons, she stated, “He [Mayank Joshi] has been working since 2009 and has applied for it [ticket from Lucknow Cantt], rightfully. But if the party has decided to give the ticket to only one person a family, I will resign from my present seat if Mayank gets a ticket.”

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Ms. Joshi’s remarks come amid rumours of her quitting the party before the elections.

She, however, said she was not leaving the party. “I wrote this proposal to BJP president J.P. Nadda and will always continue working for the BJP anyway. Party can choose to accept or not accept my proposal. I had already declared that I will not contest elections, many years ago.”

She met Mr. Pradhan to discuss political issues of Allahabad zone and her son’s ticket was not on the agenda, she observed.

There are speculations that if the BJP denies ticket to a Brahmin leader’s (Ms. Joshi’s) son after it fielding Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh (a Rajput or Thakur) from Noida, it could revive the debate of Thakurs vs Brahmins in U.P.

When asked about Mr. Pankaj Singh’s ticket, she said he deserved it and that she was not complaining about it. While she noted that she respected the party’s rule of one ticket a family, she did point out that many in the BJP had gotten it. “I do respect the party’s decision of one ticket a family even though many have gotten it,” she said, speaking to TV news channel News24 .

Mr. Mayank Joshi has reportedly been pushing hard to get the party ticket from the seat which her mother won in 2017 but vacated in 2019 after she was elected to the Lok Sabha. BJP’s Suresh Chandra Tiwari is the incumbent MLA.

The party, which has so far comfortably enjoyed the support of both the communities in U.P., started facing the allegations of neglecting Brahmins ever since Yogi Adityanath became Chief Minister in 2017. In recent years, the BJP has had to reach out to several Brahmin leaders in order to placate the community, that has about 12% vote share in the State.

Daughter of former Chief Minister and Congress veteran Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, Ms. Joshi switched over to the BJP after leaving the Congress in October 2016. She was the mayor of Allahabad from 1995 to 2000. In 2012, she became an MLA from Lucknow Cantt on a Congress ticket. She then contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls as a Congress candidate from Lucknow constituency but lost to Mr. Rajnath Singh.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 2:51:11 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/up-assembly-election-bjp-mp-rita-bahuguna-joshi-offers-to-resign-to-secure-ticket-for-son/article38290160.ece