New minister of state Anupriya Patel heads a faction-ridden Apna Dal in UP

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Varanasi
  • Updated: Jul 06, 2016 08:53 IST
President Pranab Mukherjee greets Anupriya Patel as she was sworn-in as minister of state at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday. (PTI)

Parliamentarian Anupriya Patel — who was sworn in as the Union minister of state on Tuesday — heads a faction-ridden Apna Dal, an ally of the BJP, in Uttar Pradesh

A graduate from Lady Sri Ram College, Anupriya had taken over the reigns of the party after her father Sone Lal Patel, the founder of Apna Dal, passed away in 2009. She successfully steered the party to success in 2014, winning two seats including hers from Mirzapur constituency and forming an alliance with the BJP.

After the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when her mother Krishna Patel appointed sister Pallavi as the party’s national vice-president, the relationship between the mother-daughter duo soured and Krishna expelled Anupriya from Apna Dal last year.

Today, both Anupriya and Krishna claim to be the president of the party which has support of Kurmi community in pockets of the state. Speaking to HT on phone, Krishna said, “She has become minister today. I threw her out of the party in 2015 for anti-party activities. Who says that Apna Dal is going to merge with the faction headed by Anupriya Patel? I am president of Apna Dal. We have no such plans.”

Anupriya, however, held a rally at Jagatpur in Varanasi to showcase her strength to mark the birth anniversary of Apna Dal founder Dr Sone Lal Patel. Around 35,000 supporters attended the rally and she claimed she represented the Apna Dal.

BJP MP Anupriya Patel takes the oath in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. (Sonu Mehta/ HT PHoto)

“I will fulfil dreams of my father. I will carry forward his mission to serve the poor, downtrodden and farmers,” Anupriya said.

The party leader addressed her as the national president of Apna Dal. The convener of the rally, Neelratan Patel said, “There was a huge crowd in the rally. It is proof of the fact that Anupriya ji is true successor of the party founder. She is our national president.”

Anupriya, who represents Mirzapur parliamentary constituency, enjoys enormous supports among Kurmis across eastern UP and in some parts of Kanpur too. Patel, after taking oath as minister of state in the union cabinet, tweeted, “I express my kind gratitude to union leadership and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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