File photo of Jaya Prada. (Agence France-Presse)
Actor-turned-politician Jaya Prada says she hopes to be inducted into the BJP, putting behind her what she calls a "very bitter experience" with the Samajwadi Party and its chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.
"They never respected women," Ms Jaya Prada said about the Samajwadi Party, talking to NDTV in Hyderabad today amid buzz that she is set to join the BJP.
"I admire the Prime Minister and would love to join the BJP," she said, adding, "PM Modi is very different from Mulayam Singh."
Ms Jaya Prada, once a top Bollywood actress, said politician and her close associate Amar Singh has been talking to the BJP on her behalf in Delhi.
BJP sources in Delhi have confirmed that negotiations have been on for some time now, and said the party is yet to take a final decision on inducting Ms Jaya Prada, who was expelled from the Samajwadi Party in 2010 for supporting Amar Singh, who had fallen out with Mulayam Singh.
Ms Jaya Prada was then the member of Parliament from Rampur in Samajwadi Party-ruled Uttar Pradesh and recalls that powerful state minister Azam Khan, a bitter rival of Amar Singh, had "banned my entry into Rampur."
Last year, both Amar Singh and Jaya Prada had joined the Rashtriya Lok Dal headed by Ajit Singh. She contested the national elections from Bijnore in UP, but lost.
There is speculation now that Ms Jaya Prada might be fielded by the BJP to contest the assembly elections from Delhi. It has been a long political journey for the 52-year-old, who first entered Parliament in 1996 as a Rajya Sabha MP from the Telugu Desam Party or TDP.
She left the TDP and joined the Samajwadi Party through Amar Singh after a bitter fallout with TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu.