Mulayam's niece opts for BJP ticket in Panchayat polls


Lucknow, April 8 : In a major setback to the first family of the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Sandhya Yadav, niece of party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, will be contesting the Zila Panchayat elections on a BJP ticket from Mainpuri, a stronghold of the Samajwadi Party. Sandhya Yadav is the sister of former Badaun MP Dharmendra Yadav and also the incumbent chairperson of Mainpuri district panchayat. Sandhya, who had won the last election on a Samajwadi ticket, filed her nomination papers on Wednesday. The polling is scheduled to take place on April 19. In 2017, a no-confidence motion was moved against Sandhya just a week after her husband, Anujesh Yadav, who was a member of the Firozabad Zila Panchayat and was close to Shivpal Yadav, was expelled from the party. Anujesh had signed a motion against the local Zila Panchayat president, Vijay Pratap, who in turn, is a close associate of Ram Gopal Yadav. Later, the motion was withdrawn after 11 members submitted an affidavit disassociating themselves from the decision. Two years ago, in 2019, Anujesh joined BJP. He told reporters, "If SP members could move a no-confidence motion against my wife (Sandhya), she can also fight the elections on a BJP ticket." Anujesh claimed that his wife would win this election. Yadav further said, "My mother, Urmila Yadav, had been MLA twice from Ghiror in 1993 and 1996 and we enjoy considerable support among the people." Former Samajwadi MP from Mainpuri, Tej Pratap Yadav, who is a nephew of Sandhya Yadav, said the party will treat her as a political opponent. "We have our own candidate and we will work for his victory," he added. BJP district president Pradeep Chauhan said, "Mulayam Singh Yadav himself had praised PM Narendra Modi in Parliament, and if the former's niece is contesting as our party candidate, it means that she also supports the development agenda of the BJP. There is nothing wrong in it. Everyone has a right to choose one's path." However, the SP leaders in Lucknow admitted, albeit on condition of anonymity, that Sandhya's decision to contest on a BJP ticket was a 'huge embarrassment' for the party and also the family. /IANS


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