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Aparna Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law, joins BJP

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Guwahati: Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav on Wednesday joined the BJP in New Delhi delivering a major blow to the Samajwadi Party ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections 2022. 

Aparna Yadav, 32, is married to Prateek Yadav, 34, who is Samajwadi Party leader and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s younger brother. The two were wed in 2011 and have a daughter. Akhilesh Yadav is widely seen as the biggest challenge to the ruling BJP’s hope of re-election in UP.

 The BJP-SP rivalry reached a notch higher with the BJP now poaching a family member of the Yadav family in a tit-for-tat move to counter Samajwadi Party’s poaching of BJP’s ministers.

Akhilesh Yadav is not even successful in his family, deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya said as he welcomed ‘Mulayam Singh Ji’s choti bahu’ into the BJP fold.

The daughter of a former journalist, Ms Yadav studied at Lucknow’s famous Loreto Convent. She holds a degree in English Literature and another in International Relations and Politics from the University of Manchester in England.

Ms Yadav made her political debut – becoming the 22nd member of the Yadav family to do so – in the 2017 UP election, standing as a Samajwadi candidate from the Lucknow Cantonment seat. She was beaten by the BJP’s Ritu Bahugana Joshi (a former Congress leader) by nearly 34,000 votes.

She runs an organisation – bAware – that works for women’s issues, and also operates a shelter for cows in Lucknow. Given her family’s political links, she has raised eyebrows for praising the BJP; today she said: “I have always been inspired by Prime Minister Modi.”

Just last month, though, she slammed the BJP for grandstanding over the construction of bathrooms for women. She referred to Samajwadi founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and said he too had built bathrooms and given LPG (cooking) gas cylinders to women, but never posed for photographs.

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