In a major blow to the Congress party's poll preparations in Uttar Pradesh, senior party leader and former UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi has joined the BJP.

Joshi, one of the prominent faces of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, joined the party in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah. She is reportedly upset with the Congress party’s decision to project former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit as its chief ministerial candidate in the poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

After joining the BJP, she praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and also attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. Joshi's entry into the BJP is considered to be a big jolt to Rahul Gandhi's poll calculation who has just concluded his 'Kisan Yatra' in Uttar Pradesh.

Hurt By Rahul Gandhi's Remark

Rita Bahuguna Joshi said that she is deeply hurt by Rahul Gandhi's 'Khoon ki Dalali' remark over Indian Army's surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).

"When the entire world acknowledged the surgical strikes, Rahul Gandhi's 'Khoon ki Dalali' comments made me angry," she said.

Joshi also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and said that this is for the first time that the government has taken such a bold step. She said that the Modi government has a big contribution in the surgical strikes.

"This was a difficult decision. I have served Congress for 24 years. I have taken this decision for benefit of the nation," Rita Bahuguna Joshi said after joining the BJP.

Rahul Gandhi Not Acceptable As Leader

Rita Bahuguna Joshi also attacked Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and said that his leadership is not acceptable to her and Uttar Pradesh and even the entire nation has rejected him.

"Sonia Gandhi used to listen to us but now this is not happening under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi," she said.

She also took a dig at the appointment of Prashant Kishor and said he can be a poll manager but not a poll director.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi Praises Amit Shah

The senior leader also praised BJP chief Amit Shah and said she appreciates his way of functioning. "I found him very open-minded. He really wants to see India developing. I like his functioning," she said.

Joshi Takes On SP, BSP

Rita Bahuguna Joshi also questioned the Congress party's intention to fight the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party in Uttar Pradesh.

"I want to free the state from the misrule of the SP and the BSP," she said.

Joshi's Brother Already In BJP

Rita Bahuguna Joshi's brother and former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna himself joined the BJP along with nine other Congress legislators earlier this year, leading to an imposition of President's Rule in Uttarakhand.

Rita Bahuguna Joshi was approached by the Congress to convince her brother to stay back with the party.

Who Is Rita Bahuguna Joshi?

Rita Bahuguna Joshi was one of the most important Brahmin faces of the Congress party in Uttar Pradesh. She was also the chief of Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee from 2007 to 2012. The party had contested the UP Assembly elections in 2012 under her leadership but managed to win only 28 seats.

She is a daughter of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Congress stalwart Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna. She had started her career with the Samajwadi Party.