Aparna Yadav, the younger daughter-in-law of Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, has said speculations that she might join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which were triggered after her back to back meetings with Uttar Pradesh’s new chief minister Yogi Adityanath, are “totally baseless”.
Aparna and her husband Prateek Yadav, the younger son of Mulayam, first met Adityanath two days after he became the chief minister. And, then the couple was seen with the CM during his cow shelter visit in Lucknow.
“People just talk. All the more when a woman tries to do something worthwhile. Before I met Yogiji, Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) and Bhaiya (Akhilesh Yadav) attended his swearing in and met him. I had met Yogiji even before. There’s nothing new about me meeting him,” Aparna told Hindustan Times on Thursday .
The 26-year-old was the Samajwadi Party’s candidate from the Lucknow Cantonment constituency and lost the election to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
Aparna said she was caught in the crossfire during the Yadav family feud or else, she would have won.
“I often say my boat sank when the shore was in sight ... The wounds inflicted by our own are far deeper. But I fought well. I contested the seat from where Samajwadi Party had never won an election,” she said.
Aparna was the first member of the Yadav family who was not fielded from the family’s pocket borough and also the first one who was given a seat the party never won.
Before her, all others - Tej Pratap Singh Yadav, Dimple Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, Akshay Yadav and Shivpal Yadav - began their political career generally through a bypoll from family’s pocket borough seats.
Aparna on Sunday held a ‘thanksgiving’ meeting in Lucknow Cantonment.
“I told the people that I was not the one who would blame EVMs (electronic voting machines) for my defeat. I lost because I got hardly any support from the party. Only one leader, Ashok Bajpai, was with me frequently. At booth level, there was no party support,” she said.
Shortly after the BJP’s unexpectedly massive victory in Uttar Pradesh elections last month, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati had alleged that the EVMs used in the state were fudged. The SP along with Congress and Aam Aadmi Party echoed those allegations.
Aparna, however, said that the EVM matter should be investigated.
“If it is proven, then fresh polls should be held. Next polls should be held through ballot papers,” she said.