Akhilesh Yadav’s brother-in-law Aparna Yadav today joined the BJP, pushing the Samajwadi Party a few weeks before the Uttar Pradesh elections.
Aparna Yadav is the brother of Akhilesh Yadav and the wife of Pratik Yadav, the youngest son of Mulayam Singh Yadav.
For the BJP, this is a major acquisition in UP, with three of the ministers of state and its most backward caste leaders recently joining the Samajwadi Party.
Speculation about his brother-in-law Aparna Yadav joining the rival team started after seeing one big departure after another of the Yogi Adityanath government.
The three former UP ministers welcomed by Akhilesh Yadav are Swami Prasad Maurya, Dharam Singh Saini and Dara Singh Chauhan.
Binoy Shakya, Roshan Lal Verma, Mukesh Verma and Bhagwati Sagar were among the MLAs who followed the same path even after leaving the country.
Aparna Yadav contested the 2017 state elections as a socialist candidate from Lucknow Cantt but lost to Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who then left the Congress to join the BJP.
Aparna runs an organization – Bawar – which works for women’s issues and also runs a shelter for cows in Lucknow. Mrs Yadav has been in the news for praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the past.