Veteran actor and former MP Jaya Prada, today, joined the BJP, two weeks before the Lok Sabha elections. She has been pitted against Samajwadi Party’s Azam Khan on the Rampur constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Jaya Prada had represented Rampur twice in the Lok Sabha — in 2004 and 2009 — as a member of the Samajwadi Party.
Calling it an “important moment” in her life, Jaya Prada said “I am a part of national party and I’m in a party, where the leader leads on issues of national security… I’m honoured to work under PM Modi’s leadership”.
The 56-year-old actor had joined politics in 1994 as a member of the Telugu Desam Party, which was headed by NT Rama Rao. She was also Rajya Sabha member. But she left following differences with Chandrababu Naidu and joined the Samajwadi Party.
But she and Amar Singh, with whom she has been closely associated, were expelled from the Samajwadi Party following differences with Mulayam Singh Yadav. Jaya Prada had earlier claimed she was harassed by from Azam Khan and received threats from him.
“Even as a sitting MP (Member of Parliament) from a party, I wasn’t spared. Azam Khan harassed me. He attempted an acid attack on me. I had no certainty if I would be alive the next day. I would tell mother while leaving the house that I wasn’t sure if I would ever return home. I emerged out of it,” Jaya Prada told reporters at a literature festival in Mumbai last month.
After being expelled from the Samajwadi Party, Jaya Prada and Amar Singh formed the Rashtriya Lok Manch. The party fielded a number of candidates in 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly polls, but none won. Ahead of the 2014 national elections, both of them joined Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal.Jaya Prada contested from the Bijnor seat in 2014, but lost to the BJP’s Kunwar Bhartend