Less than a month ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, eteran Bollywood actress Jaya Prada joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). According to sources, the former Samajwadi Party (SP) leader may contest Lok Sabha elections from Rampur against Azam Khan who has been named by the SP its candidate from the constituency.
Jaya Prada, who started her political journey with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1994 on the invitation from its founder NT Rama Rao. However, she quit the party following differences with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and joined the Samajwadi Party. She contested the 2004 Lok Sabha elections on SP's ticket from Rampur and won the constituency by a margin of over 85,000 votes.
The actress-turned-politician has a bitter rivalry with Azam Khan, whom she had accused of distributing her nude pictures. Despite the controversy, she contested the 2009 general elections on a Samajwadi Party ticket from Rampur and won again.
Jaya Prada with BJP MP Bhupender Yadav. (Photo: News Nation)
In 2010, the Samajwadi Party expelled her from the primary membership of the party over her alleged involvement in anti-party activities. The decision was taken after she openly supported the former General Secretary of the Samajwadi Party, Amar Singh.
Later, she floated her own party along with Amar Singh. Her party, the Rashtriya Lok Manch had even contested the 2012 Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections but failed to win a single seat.
Interestingly, Amar Singh, whom she considers her "godfather", has been in close touch with the BJP over the years. Recently, he even added "chowkidar" to his name on Twitter in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Main Bhi Chowkidar" campaign.