UP: Former BSP minister joins BJP in Sitharaman's presence

AGRA: Former BSP minister Awadhpal Singh Yadav and his brother Chandra Pratap Singh Yadav, who is a former MLC, joined the BJP in the presence of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and party's national general secretary Anil Jain in Delhi on Thursday.

They were given party’s membership at BJP’s Delhi headquarters. Three-time Aliganj MLA and two-term MLC Awadhpal Singh was the minister of animal husbandry and dairy development in the previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) rule.

Awadhpal was sacked in August 2011 by the then chief minister Mayawati on the report of Lokayukta against him. He was indicted by the Lokayukta on charges of corruption. He was also named in a triple murder case in August 2011, and is an accused in Rs 400-crore LACCFED scam which took place during the BSP rule. He was also accused of rape in 2012.

Speaking with TOI, Rameshwar Singh Yadav, former Aliganj MLA and senior Samajwadi Party leader, said, “To win seats, BJP seems to be getting everyone on board, including hardened criminals, like Awadhpal.”