Rita Bahuguna Joshi is an Indian politician. She is the former cabinet minister in the Government of Uttar Pradesh. From 2007 to 2012, she served as the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. She is known for being the daughter of late politician Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna, a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. On 20 October 2016, she became a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party, and in the 2019 Indian general elections, she was appointed as a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Lok Sabha from the Allahabad constituency.Rita grew up in a family of politicians in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Her father, H. N. Bahuguna was a former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. During the tenure of Indian Prime Minister Charan Singh, H. N. Bahuguna was appointed as the Finance Minister of India. Her mother, Late Kamla Bahuguna, was an MP from the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency. One of her brothers Vijay Bahuguna was a former Chief Minister of Uttarakhand. Her second brother, Shekhar Bahuguna also tried his hands at politics but never won any elections. Shekhar contested the 2012 assembly election from the Phaphamau constituency in Allahabad, U.P. but lost. H.N. Bahuguna (standing) at a Janata Party session in Simla.From 1974 to 2008, Rita Bahuguna Joshi was nominated as a Member of the UNDP Advisory Board of Local Authorities. In 2004, she was a Member of the Bejing + 10 Drafting Committee. In 1995, she was appointed as the mayor of Allahabad, and she served the position till 2000. In 2003, she was appointed as the president of the All India Mahila Congress and is a former vice-president of the National Council of Women. In September 2007, Rita Bahuguna Joshi began working as the president of the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee. In 2012, she contested the Legislative Assembly elections for the Lucknow Cantonment for the lower house of the Parliament of India but lost. In 2014, Rita Bahuguna Joshi re-contested the Lok Sabha elections from Lucknow and lost. After her 24 years stint in the Indian National Congress, she joined Bharatiya Janta Party on 20 October 2016 in presence of BJP president Amit Shah. Rita Bahuguna Joshi while joining the BJP in 2016.On 16 July 2009, she was arrested and kept in the Moradabad jail for 14 days in judicial custody for making derogatory remarks about Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati. She accused Mayawati of her vain law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh, which increased the number of rape cases in Uttar Pradesh. In her speech, Rita Bahuguna Joshi narrated a few instances in which the rape victims were provided 25,000 rupees compensation for keeping their mouths shut after being raped. Rita Remake, Simply compensating the women with money was not enough. Women who are raped should “throw the money at Mayawati’s face and tell her ‘you should also be raped and I will give you 10 million rupees.” On 11 May 2011, she was detained by the Meerut police from the Bhatta Parsaul village of western Uttar Pradesh along with her fellow leaders Rahul Gandhi and Digvijay Singh. When they were arrested by the police, they were attending an agitation protest organised by the local farmers criticising the policies of the state government. The following day, a top police official confirmed their arrest and stated in a media conference that the trio were produced to a local court for further proceedings. Rita Bahuguna Joshi with Rahul Gandhi while addressing a political rally.Rita Bahuguna Joshi is an active advocate for the rights of Indian women as she has served as the President of the All India Mahila Congress from 2003 to 2008. She is an active participant in several Women’s Movements and is the pioneer in organising many seminars, campaigns, and demonstrations for the upliftment of women. In 1991-92, she was the leader of the campaign ‘Movement for Reservation for Women in Local Bodies’ in Uttar Pradesh. In 2009, she was detained by the Uttar Pradesh police, when she was protesting in one of such campaigns to fight the injustices against women, especially the increasing incidents of rape of women in Uttar Pradesh. Rita Bahuguna Joshi while addressing a movement for the women of India.Rita Bahuguna Joshi was serving as a Bharatiya Janata Party Lok Sabha Member of Parliament from the Prayagraj constituency before she was appointed as a minister in Yogi Adityanath‘s government in 2019.Rita Bahuguna Joshi serves as the Chairperson of the JCSA Committee and the Convenor-Committee of Parliament.On 20 October 2020, Rita Bahuguna Joshi was honoured with a United Nations Award of Excellence for being among the “Most Distinguished Women Mayor in South Asia.” She was the recipient of the same award at Phitsanulok, Thailand in June 2001.Rita Bahuguna Joshi works as a professor at the University of Allahabad, where she teaches Medieval and Modern History.During the 2020 Diwali festival, Rita Bahuguna Joshi suffered a personal tragedy. Her six-year-old granddaughter, Kiya Joshi, died in Prayagraj after she sustained sixty per cent burns while playing with Diyas on the terrace of the house. An old Diwali festival picture of Rita Bahuguna with her husband and granddaughter.