Apna Dal’s foundation day programme in Allahabad on November 4, which had threatened to push the party a step closer to split, has been cancelled. Party MP Anupriya Patel, apparently unhappy with her mother’s and party president Krishna Patel’s decision to remove her as general secretary and elevate sister Pallavi Patel to the post of vice-president, had earlier decided to skip the official party programme in Varanasi.
“The organisers of the Allahabad programme held a meeting and decided to cancel it. As party workers, we concluded that the differences are in the family and we as party workers should keep away from aggravating the situation,” said Jawahar Lal Patel, party’s Allahabad district president (Anupriya Patel faction).
Phoolchand Patel, also a district president (Krishna Patel faction) welcome the move. “It is obvious that Anupriya didn’t want the party to split in two”.
Although the progamme has been cancelled, the rift is far from over as Anupriya and some of her loyalists are unlikely to attend Varanasi programme. On being asked whether Anupriya will attend Varanasi programme, Krishna Patel said, “The programme doesn’t await any mahapurush. Those who want to attend can do so”.
Anupriya, meanwhile, said she has “nothing to comment on the issue”. “As for my participation in Varanasi programme, you will know when the day arrives,” she added.
While some, such as, vice president Pallavi Patel, Pratapgarh MP Kunwar Harivansh Singh, general secretary Seth Jagdish, national treasurer Kailash and other senior party functionaries were to participate in Varanasi programme, others such as party’s state general secretary Asharam Verma, Vishwanathganj MLA R K Verma, general secretaries Neel Ratan Patel, Rajendra Pal, national committee members Chandra Pratap, Awadh Naresh Verma, Dharm Raj Patel and others were to be present in the Allahabad programme.
“The Allahabad programme was increasingly being viewed as a show of strength against Varanasi programme but we didn’t didn’t want to send such a message,” Jawahar Lal said. “‘Ultimately, we didn’t want to promote a parallel faction in the party,” added party’s Vishwanathganj MLA and state president R K Verma. While Jawahar said he will not attend Varanasi programme, Verma said he is still “undecided.”
The rift in the party, which is a BJP ally and has two MPs, had surfaced earlier last month when Anupriya had called a press conference in Lucknow termed Krishna Patel’s decision to elevate Pallavi as party vice-president as illegal and arbitrary.
Later, levelling allegations of indiscipline, Krishna Patel removed Anupriya as party’s general secretary.