UP Elections 2022: Blow to SP as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joins BJP, says ‘I admire PM Modi’s work’

In what came a big blow to the Samajwadi Party just weeks ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s sister-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP today.

In what came a big blow to the Samajwadi Party just weeks ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, party chief Akhilesh Yadav's sister-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP today.

In what came a big blow to the Samajwadi Party just weeks ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, party chief Akhilesh Yadav’s sister-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the BJP today. The move is seen as a tit-for-tat after three ministers and several MLAs from the ruling party jumped the ship to the SP camp recently.

She joined the saffron party at BJP headquarters in the presence of deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP state president Swatantra Dev Singh.

“I am very thankful to BJP. The nation always comes first for me. I admire PM Modi’s work,” Yadav said after joining the party.

There had been much speculation about her joining the BJP, and the development highlights the rift in the SP’s ruling family at a time when Akhilesh Yadav has been working to rally the party’s base in the run up to the state assembly polls.

Aparna Yadav, who is married to Mulayam and Sadhna Gupta’s son Prateek, comes from a Thakur-Bisht background, just like Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. She contested the 2017 UP polls on Samajwadi Party ticket from Lucknow Cantt. but lost to Ritu Bahuguna Joshi, who had then quit the Congress to join the BJP.

While the seat, from which Aparna may contest the polls, is yet to be decided, Joshi is already seeking a ticket from the BJP for her son from Lucknow Cantt.

On being asked whether she will contest the polls from Lucknow Cantt, Yadav said: “I have always been very vocal about the policies and ideologies of PM Modi and BJP. Nationalism is a very important aspect of my life. I’ve always thought of nation before anything. Whatever they’ll say, I do it.”

Aparna runs an organisation — bAware — that works for women’s issues and also a shelter for cows in Lucknow. She had been in the news in the past for making Rs 11 lakh donation for the construction of Ram Temple and her praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development initiatives. 

Yadav joining the BJP placates the ruling party which has suffered a series of setbacks over the past few days with three of its ministers along with over half a dozen MLAs shifting to the Samajwadi Party. 

Three former UP ministers who were welcomed by Akhilesh Yadav in his party are Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini, and Dara Singh Chauhan. Along with them, MLAs Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma, and Bhagwati Sagar also joined the rival camp.

Samajwadi Party poses a direct challenge to the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh and while pre-poll surveys have predicted a victory for the BJP, the recent mass exodus of leaders, mostly from the OBC community, is seen as a shot in the arm for Akhilesh Yadav. Uttar Pradesh will vote in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and the votes will be counted on March 10. 

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