A day before polling in Lucknow, BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s son, Mayank Joshi, met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday, setting off speculations of his switch. Rumours of Mayank joining the SP began ever since the BJP fielded Lucknow (central) MLA and minister Brijesh Pathak from the Lucknow Cantonment assembly seat.
In a tweet, Akhilesh posted a picture of his meeting with Mayank and wrote: “Courtesy call from Shri Mayank Joshi ji,
The meeting between the two leaders just a day before the phase four polling in Uttar Pradesh assumes significance and is likely to be seen as an acknowledgment of SP’s effort of giving strength to the perception of a so-called Brahmin discontent with the BJP. Mayank’s switching sides to the SP or not doesn’t impact his immediate politics much but helps the SP in giving impetus to its perception war.
Mayank’s mother Rita Bahuguna Joshi is a sitting BJP MP from Allahabad. She had won the 2017 assembly elections from Lucknow Cantt, and, later, when she became the MP, the seat fell vacant and BJP’s Suresh Tiwari became the MLA.
The issue of the Lucknow Cantonment seat snowballed when Rita Bhaguna Joshi openly came out in the press and said her son “deserves” the ticket as he has been working hard for several years for the party. The BJP MP even said if required she can even tender resignation for her son.
She had earlier denied that her son was in touch with SP, saying: “I categorically contract this. I have campaigned for my party in Prayagraj in the last four days and have reached Delhi for the Budget Session. Away from the limelight, Mayank Joshi is in his home in Lucknow.”