Aparna Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav’s sister-in-law, joined the BJP in Delhi today in a blow to the party ahead of next month’s Uttar Pradesh election. Ms Yadav is also Samajwadi Party founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law.
Here are 5 points about the BJP’s latest recruit in UP:
Aparna Yadav, 32, is married to Prateek Yadav, 34, who is Samajwadi Party leader and former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav’s younger brother. The two were wed in 2011 and have a daughter. Akhilesh Yadav is widely seen as the biggest challenge to the ruling BJP’s hope of re-election in UP.
The daughter of a former journalist, Ms Yadav studied at Lucknow’s famous Loreto Convent. She holds a degree in English Literature and another in International Relations and Politics from the University of Manchester in England.
Ms Yadav made her political debut – becoming the 22nd member of the Yadav family to do so – in the 2017 UP election, standing as a Samajwadi candidate from the Lucknow Cantonment seat. She was beaten by the BJP’s Ritu Bahugana Joshi (a former Congress leader) by nearly 34,000 votes.
She runs an organisation – bAware – that works for women’s issues, and also operates a shelter for cows in Lucknow. Given her family’s political links, she has raised eyebrows for praising the BJP; today she said: “I have always been inspired by Prime Minister Modi.”
Just last month, though, she slammed the BJP for grandstanding over the construction of bathrooms for women. She referred to Samajwadi founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and said he too had built bathrooms and given LPG (cooking) gas cylinders to women, but never posed for photographs.