Aparna Yadav, Married To Akhilesh Yadav Brother, To Join BJP, Claims Leader

UP Elections: Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav's son, has emerged as the key challenger to the ruling BJP in the state.

Aparna Yadav is the daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav.

New Delhi:

Aparna Yadav, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law, will join BJP today, a senior BJP leader claimed Tuesday night. Ms Yadav's switch to the BJP, if it happens, will be a big blow to the Samajwadi Party just weeks ahead of the state polls.

In what is being seen as a tit-for-tat move after last week's setback to the ruling party with the exit of three UP ministers and several MLAs to join forces with Akhilesh Yadav, 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."

Akhilesh Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav's son, has emerged as the key challenger to the ruling BJP in the crucial UP elections. He has also earned the backing of several opposition parties - Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress and Sharad Pawar's NCP - that are trying to put up an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

The speculation about his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav joining the rival party comes just days after the Yogi Adityanath government saw a series of big exits.

Three former UP ministers who were welcomed by Akhilesh Yadav in his party are Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini, and Dara Singh Chauhan.

Vinay Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma, and Bhagwati Sagar were among the MLAs who also took the same route after the exodus.

NDTV tried reaching out to Ms Yadav for confirmation. A WhatsApp message was read by her but a reply is awaited.

The young politician contested the 2017 state election from Lucknow Cantt on a Samajwadi Party ticket, coming second after Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who had quit the Congress then to join the BJP . Aparna runs an organisation -- bAware -- that works for women's issues and also a shelter for cows in Lucknow. Ms Yadav has been in the news in the past for praising Prime Minister Modi's 'development initiatives'. 

UP votes in seven phases between February 10 and March 7; results will be out on March 10.

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