A day after Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP, his brother-in-law Pramod Gupta – a former SP MLA – on Thursday joined the saffron party ahead of the UP Assembly elections.
Gupta accused party president Akhilesh Yadav of imprisoning his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and alleged that “criminals and gamblers” were being inducted into the Samajwadi Party.
On Wednesday, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP, asserting that she has always been impressed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Aparna Yadav is married to Prateek Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife while SP president Akhilesh Yadav is his son from the first marriage.
With Uttar Pradesh being the politically most crucial state, the BJP has been pulling out all the stops to strengthen its ranks after a number of its leaders, including ministers in the state government, recently joined Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party. The ruling party has worked to get back at the rival by inducting a few of its leaders, including MLAs, into its fold.
Aparna had contested and lost the 2017 assembly polls from Lucknow Cantt on an SP ticket and her defection to the BJP gives the ruling party a weapon to target Akhilesh Yadav and his party over internal differences in the family.
Akhilesh said his father Mulayam Singh Yadav tried hard to convince his daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav to not join the BJP and expressed his happiness that the SP’s socialist ideology is expanding its reach. Akhilesh, who sent his sister-in-law best wishes for her move to the BJP, also addressed speculation on whether he would contest the assembly elections and said he would consult the people of his parliamentary constituency Azamgarh.
Meanwhile, the BJP announced its alliance for UP polls with Union minister Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal and Sanjay Nishad’s Nishad Party that draw their strength primarily from sections of backward castes, while the state assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal quit the Samajwadi Party, a formality before he joins the ruling party whose support had ensured his election.