She clicks selfies with PM Narendra Modi and strongly supports his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, is vocal on social media against cow slaughter and slammed Bollywood star Aamir Khan for his comments on intolerance.
No, she is not an upcoming BJP leader. She is Aparna Yadav, the ‘chhoti bahu’ of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav who is all set to enter electoral politics as the party candidate from Lucknow Cantonment assembly constituency.
She is married to Prateek Yadav, son of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife Sadhana Gupta, who has emerged as a key player in the current crisis, with now sacked MLC Udaiveer Singh accusing her of orchestrating a family rebellion against Akhilesh Yadav.
Aparna was apparently allocated a ticket after she sought a “fair share” of Mulayam’s political legacy, compared to Akhilesh’s wife and MP Dimple Yadav. Aparna’s father Arvind Singh Bisht, who was the political editor in an English newspaper, is now the state information commissioner, while her mother Ambi Bisht is a senior official with the Lucknow Development Authority.
Arvind Singh Bisht and Mulayam have been friends for long. However, unlike other members of the Yadav clan who took a plunge into electoral politics from family bastions, the SP has never won from Lucknow Cantonment — the seat allotted to Aparna.
The constituency has traditionally been a stronghold of the BJP and the Congress, and is now represented by BJP’s Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who was with the Congress till recently.
Aparna is undeterred by the tough fight ahead of her, and has already started her campaign. From hosting iftar parties at Dadamiya Ki Mazar, to a community feast on Bada Mangal, a festival for Lord Hanuman, and organising padyatras, Aparna is meeting people like a skilled leader.
She has a post graduate degree in international relations and politics from University of Manchester, while her husband Prateek has an MSc from Leeds University. Their marriage ceremony took place in Saifai, the ancestral village of Mulayam, in Etawah district in December 2011.
Aparna is also a social worker associated with an NGO. She is the brand ambassador of the B-Aware campaign for women’s safety. Mother of one child, she has addressed girl students in nearly a dozen districts.
A trained classical singer, Aparna performed at the Lucknow Mahotsav in 2013 and at the Saifai Mahotsav. For the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, she released an album dedicated to Mulayam Singh Yadav.
She could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.
For full coverage on Yadav family feud, click here