Reflecting ‘frictions’ with the BJP, Apna Dal(S) leader and Union minister Anupriya Patel Thursday said she stood by the remarks of her husband and party president Ashish Patel, who had voiced frustration with the saffron party over its “treatment” of smaller NDA allies. Ashish had recently alleged at a press conference in Mirzapur that smaller parties were feeling “ignored” by the bigger NDA partner — the BJP.
“My party’s president has already expressed the sentiments of the party. I stand by it,” Anupriya said outside the Parliament here. Her husband had earlier said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) should learn from the recent losses (in assembly elections). The SP-BSP alliance is a challenge for the NDA, whose allies in Uttar Pradesh are upset. The leadership at the Centre must do something, else the NDA would suffer in UP, Ashish had told reporters.
BJP leader and Union minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, however, sought to downplay the husband-wife duo’s comments. He said there was no “anger” or “ill will”, adding there may have been some misunderstanding whose solution will be arrived at. “Koi narazgi nahi hai. Hum roz milte hai. Anupriya ji bohot intelligent hai, jankar hai. Is kam umra me unhone bohot achi cheez hasil ki hai. Unki pratibha ka samman BJP ne kiya hai. Kahi koi narazgi nahi hai. Thodi bohot apas me misunderstanding kabhi kabhi, UP sarkar me halki phulki hui, samadhan bhi ho jata hai,” Choubey said.
The remarks can be loosely translated as “There is no ill will. We meet everyday. Anupriya Ji is very intelligent and knowledgable. She has achieved a lot. The BJP has respected her talents. There may have been some misunderstanding, but solutions also come about”. Anupriya had on Wednesday given a miss to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s programme in Deoria district of the state.
The Union Minister of State for Health was also not present at a function attended by the chief minister in Siddharthnagar on Tuesday, the same day when Ashish hit out at the BJP. Ashish Patel’s outburst came days after Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) Chief Upendra Kushwaha walked out of the NDA. He was upset with the BJP after it asserted that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Earlier in March, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ended its four-year-old alliance with the NDA over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
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