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A brief history of the defecting Bahuguna family

By Newsd
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Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi resigned from the Congress for the second time and her membership of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Thursday to join the BJP in the presence of party president Amit Shah.

Interestingly, the Bahuguna clan already has a history of defection. Here’s a lowdown:

Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna (Father)

Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna was the first, walking out on Indira Gandhi in 1977 and again in 1980 after a short-lived return.

Hemvati Nandan was appointed Union communications minister in 1971 after winning a Lok Sabha election from Allahabad and became Uttar Pradesh chief minister in 1973. But Indira asked him to step down in 1975 on the charge of insubordination.

Bahuguna, who belonged to Pauri Garhwal, left the Congress in 1977 and formed the Congress for Democracy along with Jagjivan Ram.

Congress for Democracy allied with the Janata Party to defeat the Congress, and Bahuguna was elected from Lucknow. But 18 months later, he returned to the Congress.

Bahuguna apparently never recovered from the shock of a defeat by 187,000 votes at the hands of Amitabh Bachchan whom he termed a “nachnewala” (a disparaging word for a professional dancer). His health deteriorated and he died in 1989 during an unsuccessful bypass surgery in the US.

Vijay Bahuguna (Brother)

Vijay Bahuguna, who turned dissident after being replaced with Harish Rawat as Uttarakhand chief minister in 2014, is accused of engineering the current split.

Vijay’s son Saket, 42, led the rebels who made public a purported sting operation against Rawat in New Delhi in March, alleging that the chief minister had offered them money to strike a deal.

The Congress leadership had tried to keep Vijay in good humour and agreed to his demand to field Saket from the Tehri Lok Sabha seat during a 2012 by-election and again in the 2014 general election. He lost both times.

“Saket is neither an MLA nor an office-bearer of the Congress,” said Arun Pathak, who had managed Bahuguna’s campaign in Allahabad in 1984. “Still, he is calling the shots because he is the grandson of Bahuguna.” According to his 2014 election affidavit, Saket is chief legal officer with the Indiabulls Group. Not surprising that the company bagged a sizeable project in Uttarakhand while his father was chief minister in 2012.

Vijay Bahuguna became Uttarakhand chief minister in 2012 but was replaced by Rawat in 2014.

Joshi’s brother, former Uttarakhand chief minister Vijay Bahuguna, is already in the BJP and was made part of the party’s executive council in the Allahabad meet of the party.

Senior Congress leaders made a veiled attack on Rita Joshi’s resignation on Thursday. UP Congress president Raj Babbar cited her family’s history of rebellious nature.

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