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Aparna Yadav joins BJP, her husband Prateek was accepted as legitimate son of Mulayam Singh Yadav when CBI inquiry on his income reached Supreme Court

The love affair of the Samajwadi Party patriarch that the Yadav family would rather not talk about.

On January 19, Aparna Yadav, wife of Samajwadi Party’s Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘step son’ Prateek, joined Bharatiya Janata Party. While joining the party, she said that she admires PM Modi’s work and that nation always comes first for her.

Prateek, son of Mulayam’s second wife Sadhna, was accepted as the legitimate son of Mulayam Singh Yadav when CBI inquiry on his income reached Supreme Court.

Understanding the Yadav family dynamics

Aparna is the wife of Prateek Gupta, son of Sadhna Gupta, the second wife of Samajwadi Party’s founder and senior leader Mulayam Singh Yadav. Though many members of the Yadav family are active in politics, Sadhna Yadav is hardly seen in the political arenas. Notably, Sadhna is 20 years younger than Mulayam Singh. In an interview, Sadhna had said she wanted to join politics, but her husband Mulayam did not let her.

Yadav’s first wife, Malati Devi, suffered complications while giving birth to Akhilesh Yadav. When she passed away in 2003, Malati was reportedly in a vegetative state. Soon after her demise Mulayam Singh Yadav married Sadhna in May 2003. It is believed that Mulayam first met Sadhna in 1982 when he became the President of Lok Dal.

In 2016, CBI had released papers regarding Mulayam Singh Yadav’s property. As per a Dainik Bhaskar report, the papers also included details about Sadhna Gupta and her relationship with Mulayam Singh Yadav. According to the report, Sadhna married her first husband, Chandra Prakash Gupta in 1987 and had a child with him, Prateek Gupta. Only after a year following the birth of Prateek, Sadhna left her husband. In 1990, they got divorced.

It is noteworthy that when Mulayam was first sworn as Chief Minister in 1989, there were ‘rumours’ he had two wives, but the alleged rumours were thrown under the carpet. His ‘secret love affair’ with Sadhna remained hidden for long. In 1994, in one of the forms, Prateek Gupta wrote Mulayam Singh Yadav’s address as permanent address. The status report also mentioned that in 2000, Mulayam Singh Yadav was named as guardian. However, it was only in 2003 when Yadav married Sadhna Gupta and gave her the official title of his wife.

Reports claim while Malati Yadav was on bed rest, it was Sadhna who took care of her. Some reports suggest Malati knew about the alleged affair between her husband and Sadhna. However, due to family pressure, no one talked about it.

Akhilesh’s feud with Amar Singh

It is believed that it was then-SP leader late Amar Singh who pushed Mulayam Singh Yadav to officially announce Sadhna as his wife. While the two were married since 2003 and Akhilesh knew about his father’s relationship with Sadhna and Prateek since 90s. Mulayam Singh’s close confidant Amar Singh also knew about the relationship. After death of his first wife, Sadhna asked Mulayam Singh to officially accept her as his wife. However, the Samajwadi Party patriarch was not ready.

Here, Sadhna reached out to Amar Singh and requested him to convince Mulayam Singh to accept their relationship sometime in 2006. A year later, Mulayam Singh admitted that Sadhna was his wife. This move apparently created wider rift between Amar Singh and Akhilesh Yadav.

In 2007, there was a case against Mulayam in Supreme Court in connection to Disproportionate Assets that was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). In an affidavit filed by Mulayam in the apex court, he had stated Sadhna and Prateek were his family members. Akhilesh, who was against Sadhna getting acceptance in the family, had a long feud with Amar Singh over his role in the said process.

Akhilesh Camp vs Sadhna Camp

According to a report in Times of India, Mulayam’s official residence was mentioned as the address of Prateek Gupta in his school records that dated back to 1994. Mulayam’s family got divided into two camps, Akhilesh Camp and Sadhna Camp, after she gained access to the senior Yadav’s official residence. Akhilesh has accused Sadhna of amassing family property and interfering in important appointments during SP government in the state.

Sadhna allegedly tried to stop Akhilesh from becoming CM

In 2012, Sadhna had reportedly got a promise from Mulayam that her son Prateek would be given a political position at par with Akhilesh by 2014. However, things did not turn in favour of Prateek. When Sadhna lost her patience in 2014, the inside feud became public. Akhilesh sacked GP Prajapati, then-Mining Minister and confidant of Sadhna. As a result, Mulayam got furious, and he replaced Akhilesh and gave the position to his uncle Shivpal Yadav, another close aide of Sadhna, in the party. Akhilesh then stripped Shivpal from irrigation, public works and revenue departments.

The two camps again came head-to-head in 2016 when Sadhna camp allegedly tried to stop Akhilesh from becoming Chief Minister of the state. MLC Udayveer Singh had written a letter in which he had alleged Sadhna was trying to stop Akhilesh from becoming CM. The letter read, “Although Akhilesh Yadav’s step-mother herself remained behind the picture, Shivpal Yadav came forward as her political face. He started contacting senior party leaders to prevent this.”

The unsaid differences between Akhilesh and Sadhna

When Mulayam married Sadhna in 2003, Akhilesh was furious with his father. It is believed that Akhilesh and Sadhna never had a good relationship; however, neither of them accepted it in public. Notably, Sadhna and her son Prateek are hardly seen with Akhilesh and his wife Dimple in public events. Reports suggest it was allegedly because of Akhilesh that Sadhna lives in Lucknow, far from Mainpuri, where the Yadav family lives.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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