UP Election: Aparna Yadav is the daughter-in-law of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
In a boost for Team Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh, Aparna Yadav, rival Akhilesh Yadav's sister-in-law, joined the BJP on Wednesday barely three weeks ahead of the state polls. Her crossover comes after the BJP last week faced back-to-back exits of several backward caste leaders (three of them were UP ministers) who later joined the Samajwadi Party.
Aparna Yadav, who is married to former Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's younger son Prateek, has taken the big political leap at a time when the Samajwadi Party patriarch's elder son - Akhilesh Yadav - is set to give a tough fight to the ruling party.
Her recruitment in the BJP may have been more than just a tit-for-tat move after the exodus last week. Aparna Yadav, who identifies herself as an activist on her official website, runs an organisation - bAware- that works for women's safety.
The Yogi Adityanath government, over the last five years, has been criticised for various incidents that grabbed national attention, including the Hathras rape case.
"Ladki hun, Lad Sakti hun" (I am a girl and I can fight) has been the tagline of the Congress campaign to catch the pulse of voters as opposition leaders call out the state government for ignoring the issue of women's safety.
Aparna Yadav, who has a degree in English Literature and another in International Relations and Politics from the University of Manchester in England, has been an advocate of women's rights.
In 2017, she made her political debut - becoming the 22nd member of the Yadav family to do so - in the state election.
She contested as a Samajwadi candidate from the Lucknow Cantonment seat, and was beaten by the BJP's Ritu Bahugana Joshi (a former Congress leader) by nearly 34,000 votes.
Ms Yadav has been in the news in the past for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's development initiatives and for her meeting with Yogi Adityanath in 2017 and visuals of them at a cow shelter.
Recently, she slammed the BJP for publicity over the construction of bathrooms for women. Her father-in-law had done similar work, she said, but never posed for pictures.