Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday said he would seek permission from the people of Azamgarh, a seat which he represents in the Parliament, if he decides to contest the Uttar Pradesh elections. “I will take the permission of the people in Azamgarh and then contest the elections from there,” he said at a press conference. Speculations are rife that Akhilesh may contest from Gopalpur in Azamgarh.
Meanwhile, in a first reaction to his sister-in-law Aparna Yadav joining the BJP, Akhilesh congratulated her and said he was happy that “our socialist ideology is expanding”. “First of all, I would like to congratulate and extend best wishes. I am also happy that our socialist ideology is expanding. I hope that our ideology will reach there and work to save the constitution and democracy,” the SP leader said.
— Samajwadi Party (@samajwadiparty) January 19, 2022
Akhilesh further said that SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav tried hard to convince Aparna Yadav against joining the BJP but in vain. “Netaji (Mulayam Singh Yadav) tried very hard to convince her,” he said when asked if efforts were made to stop Aparna Yadav from joining the ruling party.
Earlier on Wednesday, Aparna Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s youngest daughter-in-law, joined the BJP in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and its state chief Swatantra Dev Singh. Aparna is married to Prateek Yadav, the son of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s second wife. Akhilesh is his son from the first marriage.
Aparna’s move has put the SP in an embarrassing spot. Although this may not lead to any political ramifications, the move is being viewed as tit-for-tat after several defectors from the BJP had joined the SP in the past few weeks.
Expressing her admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Aparna said the nation’s interest has always been a priority for her and praised several schemes of the BJP government for cleanliness, woman empowerment and employment.
Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will be held in seven phases from February 10 till March 7. The counting will take place on March 10.
(With agency inputs)