Who is Aparna Yadav, BJP's new recruit from Mulayam's family?
Aparna Yadav, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav's sister-in-law, added a fresh twist to the political scene in Uttar Pradesh after she joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday. The 32-year-old is the daughter-in-law of SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav and the wife of Akhilesh's half-brother Prateek Yadav. The move is being seen as a big jolt to the SP weeks ahead of UP elections.
Aparna studied in Lucknow and UK
Aparna belongs to the Thakur-Bisht community, the same as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. She reportedly studied at Lucknow's Loreto Convent and also holds a Master's degree in international relations and politics from Manchester University in England. Aparna's father, Arvind Singh Bisht, is a former journalist while her mother, Ambi Bisht, is an official at the Lucknow Municipal Corporation.
Married in 2011, Aparna has a daughter
Aparna got married to Prateek (34) in 2011 and the couple has a daughter. Prateek—Mulayam Yadav's son with his second wife Sadhana Gupta—has never entered electoral politics. However, Aparna had contested as a Samajwadi candidate from the Lucknow Cantt seat in the 2017 UP elections. She had lost to BJP's Rita Bahuguna Joshi by nearly 34,000 votes.
Aparna known for her social work
Besides her political career, Aparna is also known for her social work. She runs bAware, an organization that works for women-centric issues, and operates a cow shelter in Lucknow. Reportedly, she is also a trained classical singer.
Aparna has praised BJP on several occasions
Though her joining the BJP comes as a surprise to many, Aparna has praised the policies of the BJP-led central government on several occasions. She had expressed support for the controversial National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise and the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. She had also donated Rs. 11 lakh for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
What does the future hold for Aparna?
Reportedly, Aparna will likely be fielded as a candidate in the upcoming UP elections. The constituency she may contest from remains undecided. "I have always been inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I now want to try and do better for the country. I have always been very impressed by the schemes of the BJP," she had said in Delhi on Wednesday.