Pramod Gupta joins BJP, says ‘Akhilesh hates Samajwadis’

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Lucknow: Yesterday it was daughter-in law and today broter-in of Samajwad Party founder Mulayam Singh’s opts to join BJP ahead of the state elections next month.

A war of words broke out between Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav and former party MLA Pramod Gupta who jumped ship to the saffron camp on Thursday.

Brother-in-law of ex-Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Gupta joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the afternoon and accused Akhilesh Yadav of hating “Samajwadis” and inducting criminals to the party.

Speaking to news agency ANI, Gupta said, “Akhilesh Ji hates ‘Samajwadis’ in SP. One by one, he has cornered everyone and kept only flatterers around in the party. He does not like people who work on the ground. No one has ever won with a margin of over 18,000 votes from the Bidhuna seat except me. I was denied ticket first up.”

Akhilesh Yadav had later reacted to the statement with a taunt, saying he was “grateful” to the BJP for ending SP’s “parivaarwaad”.

Apart from Gupta, former Congress leader Priyanka Maurya on Thursday joined the BJP ahead of the crucial Uttar Pradesh assembly election. Earlier on Wednesday, Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav had also joined BJP in the presence of Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and BJP State president Swatantra Dev Singh.

Speaking on the reason for joining BJP, Gupta said that he liked the honest image of the current UP chief minister.

“I liked the policies of the government. I liked the image of Yogi Adityanath as an honest politician. This is why I joined the BJP,” he said.

The former SP MLA had previously accused Yadav of imprisoning Mulayam Singh Yadav.

“Akhilesh Yadav has imprisoned Mulayam Singh Yadav and his position is bad in the party… Criminals and gamblers have been inducted to Samajwadi Party,” he had told reporters.

Elections to the 403 assembly constituencies in Uttar Pradesh are scheduled be held in seven phases from February 10 to March 7. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.

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