Ina big jolt for the Congress, senior leader from the Uttar Pradesh Congress Rita Bahuguna Joshi quit the party and joined the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the state assembly elections on Thursday in New Delhi in the presence of Amit Shah and other BJP leaders.
Joshi said that she was saddened by the Congress party's attitude towards the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir on September 28.
"When the whole world has accepted that we carried out surgical strikes, I didn't like it when Congress and other parties questioned it. I was saddened when words like 'khoon ki dalali' were used to describe the strikes," Joshi said at a press conference in the national capital.
Joshi added that the Congress demanding "proof for surgical strikes was uncalled for" and that her decision of quitting the party was in "national interest."
There were reports that had surfaced previously that Joshi — daughter of former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna and sister of current Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna — might quit the Congress to join the BJP ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.
Meanwhile, the Congress has lashed out at Rita and the BJP saying that the party "is forming an army of traitors" to fight against the Congress.