Days after pacifying its allies in Bihar, it seems BJP now has a fresh headache in Uttar Pradesh as Apna Dal (S) leader and Union minister Anupriya Patel on Wednesday skipped Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s medical college inauguration programme in Deoria district.
It comes a day after her husband and Apna Dal (S) chief went public with the party’s frustration with the BJP and demanded a “respectable number” of seats in the Lok Sabha elections.
Curiously, Patel, who is also the Union minister of state for health, was also not present at a function attended by the CM in Siddharthnagar on Tuesday. What raised eyebrows was the fact that both the BJP and the Apna Dal (S) gave contradicting answers when questioned about her absence from the functions.
“There was no formal invitation to her by the government so she did not attend the events on December 25 and 26,” PTI quoted Apna Dal (S) leader Anurag Patel as saying. However, BJP Deoria district media in-charge Satyendra Mani said he did not know the reason behind her absence.
With two major regional satraps (Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP) already severing ties with the BJP, the saffron party can ill afford to let another tussle brew with another ally as it would be bad optics just months ahead of the general elections.
Apna Dal (S) chief Ashish Patel claimed that his party was not getting “proper importance” and said that the state BJP leadership was not giving the respect the party deserves. Apna Dal won both the seats it contested in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in alliance with BJP.
“In the present situation in UP, workers of all three NDA constituents are disappointed. No one is paying heed to voices of alliance partners. MLAs and ministers too have the same anger. The BJP central leadership should rectify this situation, otherwise, the NDA will suffer maximum loss in UP,” Apna Dal (S) national working president Ashish Patel told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
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