Pressure Tactic? Apna Dal Calls for Meeting on Whether to Continue Alliance With BJP
The BJP ally in Uttar Pradesh had contested and won 2 seats in the 2014 general elections and 9 seats in the 2017 UP assembly polls. However, the party's leader Anupriya Patel has now said that they might discontinue the alliance citing differences with the ruling party.
File photo of union minister Anupriya Patel. (Twitter)
New Delhi: A key ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, Apna Dal (S) has called a meeting of its party leaders next week to take a final call on continuing their alliance with the BJP for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The NDA ally contested and won two seats in alliance with the BJP in 2014 general elections. It has a support base in the OBC Kurmi community in districts around Allahabad and Varanasi.
The party also contested the 2017 UP assembly polls with BJP winning 9 seats.
“Some differences cropped up with the BJP and we gave them time till February 20 to answer our questions, But they did not have any answers. So it appears the BJP is not interested in listening to or answering complaints of their allies," Apna Dal (S) leader and Union Minister Anupriya Patel told reporters on Thursday.
"Apna Dal is independent to make its own decision. We have called a party meeting and we will do what the party decides, whatever will be decided in the meeting we will let you know," she added.
Patel’s statement comes amid reports of her meeting with top Congress leadership in Delhi earlier this week. The party thus far has denied any talks with the Congress for a pre-poll tie-up.
In an effort to keep the flock together, BJP President Amit Shah reached out to another minor NDA ally from UP, Om Prakash Rajbhar. Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party has pockets of influence in eastern UP in districts bordering Bihar.
The smaller NDA allies have upped the ante after BJP in the last two months conceded a considerable space to its partners in Bihar and Maharashtra to stitch together a larger coalition for the general elections. The party has agreed to contest only 17 seats in Bihar, 5 less than it won in 2014, in order to bring Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) on board.
In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena has been allocated 23 seats. The two parties have agreed to contest an equal number of seats in the assembly polls slated later this year.
Meanwhile, in Tamil Nadu, the BJP stitched an alliance with AIADMK and the smaller PMK party to form an umbrella coalition in the southern state.
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