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After joining BJP, Aparna Yadav takes ‘blessings’ of Mulayam Singh Yadav

Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 21

After joining the BJP, Aparna Yadav has now visited her father-in-law and Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav to take his blessings.

Sharing a photograph with her touching the feet of Mulayam Singh on the social media, she wrote: “After taking the membership of Bharatiya Janata Party, on coming to Lucknow, took blessings from pitaji/netaji”.

The attempt is being viewed “more as a political event than a social or family courtesy call” by observers.

Aparna, the younger daughter-in-law of the SP founder, joined the BJP earlier this week—a development that was seen as a sign of a “rift” in the family at a time when party chief Akhilesh Yadav was working on building base by stitching alliances with several small caste-based parties and constructing Samajwadi narrative around social justice for backward classes and Dalits.

Also, according to SP leaders, “Akhilesh was wary of closeness of her side of relatives to the BJP. In fact, they have done him a favour by taking relatives like Aparna and Pramod Gupta as he will not have to field them and counter allegations of ‘parivarvaad’ now, which he would have had to in case he had to give tickets to them”.

Though it remains to be seen how many of his relatives actually feature in the final list of Samajwadi candidates.

Aparna is the wife of Mulayam Singh’s son Pratik from his second marriage. Gupta, an SP MLA from Auraiya’s Bidhuna constituency in 2012, is also related to Sadhna Gupta, Mulayam Singh’s second wife.

Extending his good wishes to his sister-in-law, Akhilesh had said it is good that the ‘Samajwadi’ ideology is expanding and also that “‘Netaji’ (Mulayam Singh) tried very hard to convince her” to not join the BJP.

It also remains to be seen whether the BJP will field Aparna from Lucknow Cantt, a constituency she appears to be interested in. In the last elections, she lost to BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who is now the party’s MP from Prayagraj and seeking the seat for her son.

Lucknow Cantt is dominated by Brahmins while Aparna is a Bisht Rajput married in the Yadav family, a state BJP leader also pointed.

She belongs to the same caste as UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath whose original name was Ajay Singh Bisht. On why the BJP has taken Aparna, he said elections were also about “optics and perceptions”, and on both counts “Mulayam Singh’s daughter-in-law has an edge”.

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