Apna Dal factions hold parallel events

first_imgThe 69th birth anniversary of Kurmi leader and the founder of the Apna Dal, Sone Lal Patel, turned into a show of strength between the two splinters of the party on Monday with the BJP as well as the Opposition parties using the event to cement their ties with allies ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.While the Krishna Patel faction of the Apna Dal held a function in Varanasi, the splinter led by her daughter and Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel organised a programme in memory of her father in Lucknow. This was the first time any of the factions of the Apna Dal organised a programme on July 2 in Lucknow; the birth anniversary celebrations of Sone Lal Patel have traditionally been held in Varanasi, the heart of Purvanchal.Central Minister Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal (S) and the Apna Dal led by her mother, Krishna Patel, have been battling each other for the political legacy of Sone Lal, who had substantial clout among Kurmis in the Mirzapur-Varanasi-Allahabad region. He died in 2009 in a road accident. While the Krishna Patel faction snapped ties with the BJP before the 2017 elections, the Anupriya Patel faction is a coalition partner with the BJP at the Centre and the State.Organising a ‘Jan Swabhiman Diwas’ in the memory of her father in Lucknow, Ms. Anupriya Patel’s programme featured Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan as special dignitaries.The sharing of stage of Mr. Paswan and Ms. Anupriya Patel is seen as the BJP’s attempt to consolidate Dalit and backward votes in wake of the increasing proximity and electoral success of the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party in the bypolls in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana.Apna Dal (S) spokesperson Arvind Sharma told The Hindu that the party decided to hold the birth anniversary in Lucknow for the first time in its history to shed the “tag of a Purvanchal party” and “cement” Ms. Anupriya Patel’s growing position as a pan-U.P. backward face.last_img

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