Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav will join the BJP today, a senior BJP leader claimed Tuesday night. She is likely to meet BJP president J P Nadda in Delhi today. If Yadav jumps the ship to the ruling party, it will come as a big blow to the SP ahead of the polls.
Haryana BJP in-charge Arun Yadav on Tuesday night tweeted in Hindi: “Aparna Yadav, the wife of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger son Pratik will join BJP tomorrow in the presence of Yogi Adityanath at 10 am.”
If Aparna Yadav joins the BJP, it will placate 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.
Aparna Yadav is married to Prateek Yadav, the younger son of Mulayam Singh Yadav. She had contested the 2017 UP Assembly polls from Lucknow Cantt on a Samajwadi Party ticket but lost to Ritu Bahuguna Joshi, who had then quit the Congress to join the BJP.
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 donation for the construction of Ram Temple and her praise for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s development initiatives.
Samajwadi Party faces 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.