Rebel Congress leader Aditi Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, ANI reported. Singh had won the Rae Bareli Assembly constituency in Uttar Pradesh on a Congress ticket in the 2017 state polls.

However, in May she was suspended from the Congress’ women’s wing after she defended Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Singh had also spoken up against Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as she had criticised Adityanath on the situation during the pandemic in Uttar Pradesh.

Since then, Singh has been a vocal critic of the Congress.

Her decision to join the BJP holds significance in the lead up to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled to be held in February-March next year.

Singh’s constituency Rae Bareli is a stronghold of the Congress. The party has won the seat in four of the last six Assembly elections in the state, according to NDTV. Congress had lost the seat in 2007 and 2012, when then-expelled leader Akhilesh Singh had bagged the constituency.

Aditi Singh is the daughter of Akhilesh Singh.

Meanwhile, Bahujan Samaj Party’s Azamgarh MLA Vandana Singh also joined the BJP in Lucknow on Wednesday.