New Delhi: Ahead of UP assembly elections, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday.
The BJP used the opportunity to launch an attack at Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav, and said he was unsuccessful in his family, and as a chief minister.
Aparna, wife of Prateek Yadav, step-brother of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, joined the BJP in the presence of UP Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP President Swatantra Dev Singh and other leaders at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
“Neta Mulayam Singhji ‘s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav is joining BJP. I welcome her…” Singh said.
He said people, especially women, were not safe during SP rule, adding that Azam Khan was more powerful than Akhilesh Yadav under the SP government.
Maurya meanwhile attacked Akhilesh Yadav, and said he is unsuccessful in his family as well as politics.
“SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav ji is not successful in his own family, he has also failed as a chief minister and a MP,” he said.
Maurya attacked Yadav for not announcing if he would contest the election, and said both his and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s name have been declared in the first list.
“He used to say we have done a lot of development, he wants to put his stamp on development projects… He does not have the courage to fight the elections,” he said.
Adityanath is fighting UP polls from Gorakhpur, while Maurya is fighting from Sirathu in Prayagraj. Sources have said Akhilesh Yadav will fight the assembly polls this time.
Maurya also said the views expressed by Aparna Yadav time to time showed her ideology was similar to that of BJP, and discussions had been on for long for her to join the party.
Aparna meanwhile said she was joining the BJP because “nation is the top priority” for her.
“I was always influenced by the Prime Minister, and nation is the top priority for me. I have always been influenced by the schemes of the BJP government, whether it is Swachh Bharat, or schemes for women…” she said.
Aparna contested the 2017 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election on an SP ticket from Lucknow Cantonment. She lost to BJP candidate Rita Bahuguna Joshi by a margin of 33,796 votes.
Asked if she would contest the polls from the Lucknow Cantt seat, she said it would be the party’s decision.
Last week, several rebel BJP leaders, including former UP ministers Dara Singh Chauhan, Dharam Singh Saini and Swami Prasad Maurya, joined the SP.
Elections to the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh will be held in seven phases starting February 10.
The counting of votes will take place on March 10.