NEW DELHI: In a massive setback to the Samajwadi Party (SP) , former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Bisht Yadav on Wednesday joined the ruling BJP in the national capital.
A galaxy of BJP leaders led by party chief JP Nadda, UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy CMs Keshav Prasad Maurya, Dinesh Sharma, BJP chief Swatantra Dev and Minister of state (MoS) Shobha Karandlaje ushered in Aparna into the party fold.
Aparna’s induction is being seen as a major internal rift in the Yadav clan, in a throwback to 2017 sparring when Akhilesh had ousted his uncle Shivpal from the party, forcing Mulayam to say ,” Jo apne baap ka na hua, woh kiska hoga”.
For last three years, Aparna, a demure daughter of a former journalist with an English daily was sidelined by Akhilesh, with fissured erupting in the family soon after she unsuccessfully fought the 2017 UP assembly polls from Lucknow Cantonment.
Her discomfiture had become prominent by 2019 Lok Sabha when Akhilesh chose to give his wife Dimple Yadav a ticket from Kannauj, which she eventually lost to Subrat Pathak as she made overtures with Shivpal.
Several party leaders in SP said that Aparna had desired to contest from the same seat this year like 2017 but Akhilesh was not inclined to adjust her.
“It gives us a privilege to induct Aparna ji into the BJP family. Despite the fact that she is a daughter in law of our Opposition party and former CM Mulayam Yadav, her views before media were diverse and discordant from her party for a long time. We always honoured her views. Akhilesh Yadav is not successful in maintaining his own family ties, or that of his constituency Azamgarh,” Maurya told reporters at BJP headquarters in Delhi.
Maurya scoffed at Akhilesh’s repeated attempts to embrace limelight over press conferences to take credit at unfinished or incomplete projects, saying it was a shame for a party chief who wishes to become CM he still did not have the courage to announce his candidature from any Vidhan Sabha seat.
“I am very thankful to BJP. The nation always comes first for me. I admire PM Modi’s work,” she told reporters.
“I have always been very vocal about the policies & ideologies of PM Modi & 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 ” she added, while replying to a question on whether she will contest from Lucknow Cantt seat.
Even as Shivpal has returned to Akhilesh burying their five-year-old differences, Akhilesh’s handling of family affairs and his political outfit are under more scrutiny now.
His party’s alliance with BSP that came to be known as Bua and Babua in 2019 misfired much like the truck with the Congress in 2017 polls when UP ke Ladke was projected as a collective theme of two parties by poll strategist Prashant Kishor.
The party is under constant attack from the BJP and Congress over opulence and family-run atmosphere than encouraging any democratic presence of views and candidatures.
Akhilesh, however, has managed to pull off a heist after he inducted non-Yadav OBCs including former Yogi cabinet ministers Swami Prasad Maurya and Dharam Singh Saini, weaning them off BJP ten days ago.
The 403 member assembly of Uttar Pradesh will go to polls in seven phases from February 10 to March 7 and counting of votes will take place on March 10.