Days before the first phase of polling in Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party mentor Mulayam Singh Yadav’s younger daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav has courted controversy by reportedly saying she is opposed to caste-based reservation. In an interview to a news website, Aparna had said she will not seek reservation for her daughter though she comes from a Yadav (Other Backward Caste) family. “We are a well-to-do family; so why should we take any caste-based reservation?” she said.
The BJP strongly reacted the Yadav’s statement and sought action against her by the Samajwadi Party. “The SP leadership will have to prove its allegiance to the OBCs, Scheduled Castes and Tribes by taking action against Aparna Yadav,” the state BJP unit said. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, in a statement issued by the BJP state unit, said she was pained at Aparna’s comments. “This is a move by the Yadav clan to deprive dozens of castes, the landless farmers, carpenters and others from the benefits of reservation,” Uma Bharti said and alleged that Aparna’s stand had the approval of SP National President Akhilesh Yadav.
Aparna Yadav, debuting as a Samajwadi Party candidate from Lucknow Cantt. assembly constituency, is married to Prateek Yadav, the younger son of Mulayam. She is pitted against Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who won the seat as a Congress candidate in 2012. Joshi has since joined the Bharatiya Janata Paty.
Known for her straightforward nature, be it taking out rallies against crime against women or clicking selfies with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Aparna Yadav has been in the news for all the wrong reasons. Her “ambitions, overzealousness and political immaturity” are known to have angered Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on many occasions. Moreover, she is viewed as supportertive of Akhilesh’s paternal uncle Shivpal Singh Yadav.
The BJP on Tuesday accused her of siding with people who, the party said, wanted to deprive the downtrodden and the marginalised castes of Uttar Pradesh of the benefits of reservation in jobs and educational institutions.
(With input from agencies)