Akhilesh Yadav, reacting to his relative Aparna Yadav switching to the BJP today, said he hoped she “carries our ideology to the BJP”.
The Samajwadi Party chief also “thanked” the BJP.
“I want to thank the BJP that they are giving tickets to those who even we are unable to give tickets to,” Akhilesh Yadav quipped.
Aparna Yadav is the wife of Akhilesh Yadav’s half-brother Prateek Yadav, the younger son of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav.
She had contested the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election as a Samajwadi Party candidate but had lost to Rita Bahuguna, who had crossed over from the Congress to the BJP.
“I want to congratulate her and I am happy that the Samajwadi Party’s ideology is spreading. I am sure our ideology will reach there and spread democracy,” said Akhilesh Yadav.
He revealed, however, that his father tried to talk Aparna Yadav out of quitting the Samajwadi Party.
“Netaji tried his best to counsel her. Tickets are dependent on our internal surveys, on a lot of things,” Mr Yadav said, implying that she had left because she was denied a seat to contest the polls.
Aparna Yadav is a big acquisition for the BJP after it lost many of its backward caste leaders, including three state ministers, to Akhilesh Yadav last week.
“We have brought people who have a mass base into the Samajwadi Party. The Samajwadi Party is set to form the government,” Mr Yadav said.