March 24, 2023

BJP gets edge in battle of perception | India News – Times of India

LUCKNOW: As SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law defected to BJP after much specuations, political observers call it more of an edge to the saffron party in the battle of perception in the middle of the big battle for Uttar Pradesh.
SP chief Akhilesh Yadav had won the first round of the battle a week ago, when he ensured defection of three BJP ministers of backward caste and over half a dozen MLAs. The retaliatory strike by BJP, observers say, will have more psychological impact than any real gain on the ground.
Simply because while SP tried to set the narrative of ‘backwards leaving BJP’ after the departure of Swami Prasad Maurya, Dara Singh Chauhan and Dharam Singh Saini —joined the party, the departure of Aparna has raised the specter of ‘crack in the Yadav family’. This is similar to the situation ahead of the 2017 assembly polls when the fissures between Akhilesh Yadav and his uncle Shivpal Yadav came out in the open.
The cracks widened after Shivpal quit SP to form his own outfit, Pragatisheel Samajwadi Party-Lohia (PSP-L). BJP took advantage of the family feud and presented Akhilesh as someone who was “incapable” of managing the state as he couldn’t even solve his family dispute.
Though this was not the sole reason behind SP’s drubbing in the 2017 elections, the family feud was the talking point at that time.
Ahead of the 2022 assembly elections, shifting of Aparna Yadav from Samajwadi Party to BJP after she did not reportedly get any promise of a ticket from Akhilesh, is being seen by political experts as the background of the narrative that there are cracks in the Yadav family.
Aparna’s joining also coincided with PSP-L chief Shivpal Yadav’s tweet contradicting speculations that he is talking to BJP leaders. “There is no truth in (former UP BJP chief) Laxmikant Bajpayi’s claim that I can join BJP. This claim is completely baseless and devoid of facts. I am with the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party alliance and exhort my supporters to uproot the BJP government from the state to ensure that SP forms the government,” he tweeted.
Meanwhile, congratulating his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav for joining BJP, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said Netaji (Mulayam) tried hard to explain to her the pros and cons of joining the BJP, but in vain.
When asked to comment about Aparna’s switchover, Akhilesh said: “First of all, I would like to congratulate her and extend my good-wishes,” Akhilesh said. “I am happy that this way our samajwadi (socialist) ideology has reached other political parties. I hope our socialist ideology will help save the Constitution and democracy there (in the BJP),” he said.
Asked if Aparna’s decision has the blessings of SP patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh said: “Netaji ne bahut koshish ki samjhane ki … (Netaji (Mulayam) tried to explain to her …).
Aparna Bisht Yadav joining BJP was not just an isolated case of a Yadav clan member switching over to the saffron camp. She is the third member from the clan, and second woman member, to have joined BJP. Another member, Pramod Gupta, who is the brother-in-law of Mulayam’s second wife Sadhna Gupta, is also likely to join the saffron party shortly.
Before Aparna, Mulayam’s niece Sandhya Yadav, who is elder daughter of his brother Abhay Ram Yadav and sister of former SP MP Dharmendra Yadav, has already defected to the saffron party. Besides, it was only a week ago when Mulayam’s grand nephew’s father-in-law and Siraganj (Firozabad) MLA Hari Om Yadav also defected to BJP. He is the brother of former Mainpuri MP Tej Pratap Yadav’s father-in-law Ram Prakash. Yadav had joined BJP hours after UP minister Dara Singh Chauhan joined his colleague Swami Prasad Maurya in resigning from the Yogi Adityanath cabinet on January 12.
Earlier, during the panchayat poll, Mulayam’s niece Sandhya Yadav contested as a BJP candidate from ward 18 (Ghiror III) in Mainpuri.

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