Senior Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi resigned from her party and joined the BJP on Thursday in the presence of party president Amit Shah.
Ms. Bahuguna, former chief of the Uttar Pradesh Congress unit, also quit her MLA’s post.
Ms. Joshi’s brother, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna, is already in the BJP and was made part of the party’s executive in the Allahabad meet of the BJP.
Ms. Joshi told reporters that she was “hurt when the Indian National Congress questioned the surgical strikes by the Army along the Line of Control” and that it was unseemly for a party like the Congress to have done so. “The country was happy that Pakistan was being given a fitting reply. I was happy too, but the Congress behaved like a small party and questioned the surgical strikes. The whole nation was upset with Rahul Gandhi using words like ‘khoon ki dalali’ (blood trader) for PM Modi.”
Ms. Joshi said she was also hurt by the importance accorded to poll strategist Prashant Kishor in the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab polls. “A poll manager cannot replace a leader,” she said, adding that “several senior party leaders were upset that feedback from grassroots leaders was being ignored.”