Aparna Yadav with BJP leader JP Nadda and UP CM Yogi Adityanath in New Delhi Photograph:( IANS )
The Samajwadi Party was in power in 2017 but was trounced by Yogi Adityanath's BJP in the elections held five years ago.
Ahead of the Assembly elections in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh, former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav's daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav joined the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party(BJP) on Wednesday.
Several ministers have quit the chief minister Yogi Adityanath's cabinet in the last few days including influential leader Swami Prasad Maurya.
Other leaders including Dharam Singh Saini, Dara Singh Chouhan also submitted their resignations. MLA Mukesh Verma had earlier resigned from the BJP. Reports say at least nine state lawmakers have left the BJP in a matter of days including Avtar Singh Bhadana and Roshan Lal Varma.
Swami Prasad Maurya had joined the BJP in 2017 ahead of the state elections. He had fought the last three state elections on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket. The BSP had won the state elections in 2007 under former chief minister Mayawati.
State opposition Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav had welcomed Maurya's move saying "warm welcome and greetings".
Aparna Yadav's inclusion is the most high profile entry into the BJP. The Samajwadi Party was in power in 2017 but was trounced by Yogi Adityanath's BJP in the elections held five years ago.
Aparna Yadav while joining the BJP said: "The nation always comes first for me. I admire PM Modi's work."
The BJP had won 320 seats in the 403-seat Uttar Pradesh assembly in 2017.
The state will go to the polls from February 10 till March 7 in a seven-phase election. The counting of votes will take place on March 10.
(With inputs from Agencies)