- Mayank Bahuguna has decided to join the Samajwadi Party, moments before the final round of elections
- Apparently, Mayank and his mother Rita Bahuguna Joshi tried their best to get a BJP ticket for Mayank only to fail
- Bahugunas have a history of making politically opportunistic moves
Indian political space is full of dynasts. While Gandhis dominate it on the national level; Yadavs, Badals, Patanaiks, and Thackerays are some of the famous ones at the state level. However, one family which has evaded scrutiny till now is that of Bahugunas. Away from the fanfare, they have been one of the most opportunistic families of Indian political space.
Mayank Bahuguna in SP camp
Barely, a few days before the election results, Mayank Joshi has decided to join the Akhilesh Yadav camp. Mayank Joshi is the son of Rita Bahuguna Joshi, BJP MP from Prayagraj. The speculations have been rife ever since Mayank met Akhilesh Yadav nearly a fortnight ago.
Commenting on women’s safety under a party whose patriarchal head had once defended Rapists with the comment “Ladke hain galti ho jaati hai”, Mayank said, “I’ve joined the Samajwadi Party today. Akhilesh Yadav talks about development, women’s safety and youth. As a youth, I thought to stand with such a person who talks progressively. I think UP’s future is secure in his hands,”
I've joined Samajwadi Party today. Akhilesh Yadav talks about development, women's safety, youth. As a youth, I thought to stand with such a person who talks progressively. I think UP's future is secure in his hands: Mayank Joshi, son of BJP MP Rita Bahuguna Joshi in Lucknow pic.twitter.com/wmV4pU12dz
— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) March 5, 2022
Rita Bahuguna tried to fit in her son in BJP
Mayank joining SP came after months of speculation over his as well as his mother’s future with BJP. It is widely believed that Rita Bahuguna wanted to establish Mayank as her political heir. According to a report by Hindustan Times, Rita wanted BJP to hand over the party’s ticket to her son from the Lucknow Cantt assembly constituency. However, BJP ignored her request and fielded Brajesh Pathak from the seat.
Apparently, Mayank flocking to Samajwadi Party did not come off as a surprise to anyone aware of the history of political ambitions that his family has. In fact, Mayank’s mother Rita had also ditched Congress to join BJP in 2016.
Rita Bahuguna had left the Congress
Rita Bahuguna is a well-educated and respected woman. Originally, she was a professor of History. However, because she belonged to a political family (her parents were influential figures in national politics), political ambitions came naturally to her.
She held the post of Prayagraj Mayor from 1995-2000. Later, she became a prominent figure in the UP wing of Congress. She was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly for the Lucknow Cantonment in the 2012 state elections. However, power in the state did not seem to excite her as she fought the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, only to lose.
But national ambitions did not diminish from her heart and in 2016 she ditched Congress to join BJP. After her victory in the 2017 UP elections, Rita was chosen as a minister in Yogi Cabinet. In 2019, BJP entrusted her with a Lok Sabha ticket from Allahabad.
Rita was not satisfied with an MP post. She wanted to establish her son in politics. In fact, she had explicitly said that she is ready to resign from her post if her son is given a ticket by BJP.
Vijay Bahuguna has a similar history to that of Rita
Rita Bahuguna is not the only one from her family who is ready to jump the political ships. Vijay Bahuguna, her brother has also done that in the past. After a successful career in the legal arena, Vijay joined politics in 1998. He started his career in Sonia Gandhi led Congress.
After handling various portfolios including Member of Parliament for several years, Vijay was made chief minister of Uttarakhand in 2012. However, after wide criticism of mishandling the 2013 flood in the state, Vijay resigned from his post in early 2014.
Later, Congress seems to have refused to bring him into its own fold for future elections. The party was now promoting Harish Rawat in Uttarakhand. In 2016, he finally left Congress and joined the Modi wave. His son Saurav Bahuguna is also currently aligned with the nationalist party.
Read more: Can Harish Rawat join the BJP?
Bahugunas have inherited this trait
If you are wondering from where this gene of changing parties appeared, it emanated from Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, former Union minister. He had also ditched the Congress to join Bharatiya Lok Dal (BLD) which was formed after some leaders revolted against Indira Gandhi. BLD was later dissolved in 1977.
Bahugunas have a history of changing political parties. This is their third generation in politics and 3 of their established leaders have already changed their political affiliations. Mayank joining SP is another opportunistic move in the history of Bahugunas.