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Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Apna Dal finalises deal with BJP to contest on two UP seats

Lok Sabha Elections 2019: Anupriya, the sitting MP from Mirzapur, will contest from Mirzapur only. The second seat from which the Apna Dal will contest will be decided in consultation with the BJP.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 16, 2019 11:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Lucknow
Lok sabha elections,Lok Sabha polls,General elections 2019
The announcement was made by BJP president Amit Shah after meeting Apna Dal leader and union minister Anupriya Patel.(HT Photo)

Apna Dal, a BJP ally in Uttar Pradesh which was upset with the party for some time and had been threatening to quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), will now contest on two seats in the state in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The announcement was made by BJP president Amit Shah after meeting Apna Dal leader and union minister Anupriya Patel.

Anupriya, the sitting MP from Mirzapur, will contest from Mirzapur only. The second seat from which the Apna Dal will contest will be decided in consultation with the BJP.

The BJP may offer Phulpur to Apna Dal. The Phulpur constituency which is dominated by Kurmis, an OBC sub-caste, was vacated by Keshav Prasad Maurya in 2017 after he took over as deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh.

In the 2018 Lok Sabha by-election to the seat, BJP’s Kaushalendra Singh lost to Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel of the Samajwadi Party.

The Apna Dal is an OBC political outfit which comprises largely of the Kurmi sub-caste. The party had been upset with the BJP over not getting its share in power in UP after it won nine seats in the 2017 UP assembly elections.

The BJP had managed to placate its disgruntled allies barely hours before the model code of conduct came into force.

Of the two seats that the BJP left for Apna Dal in 2014, one was Mirzapur, and the other was Pratapgarh from where sitting MP Harivansh Pratap Singh has since joined Apna Dal’s third breakaway unit. The other two are led by Anupriya and her mother Krishna Patel.

Anupriya’s husband and UP BJP MLC Ashish Patel confirmed the development.

BJP chief Amit Shah also tweeted, “Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar (Modi government once more).”

With Shah’s announcement, Mirzapur technically becomes the first seat in Uttar Pradesh that the BJP has officially announced and Anupriya is its first candidate. The BJP is expected to release its first list of candidates on Saturday.

The BJP is yet to announce any seat for its other ally, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), the other OBC political outfit, led by Om Prakash Rajbhar. The Rajbhars wield influence in several seats in and around Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

To placate its allies, the BJP government in UP had appointed as many as 15 of their cadres to various bodies and corporations. Among the 15 were nine Apna Dal members and six SBSP members.

First Published: Mar 16, 2019 11:05 IST