LUCKNOW: The discontent among allies of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in the Centre from Uttar Pradesh came to the fore once again on Saturday when both the Apna Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) boycotted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s event at Ghazipur and Varanasi despite being invited.
Anupriya Patel of Apna Dal (S) is a Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare in the Modi Cabinet while SBSP chief OP Rajbhar is a Cabinet Minister in the Yogi Adityanath government.
Both these parties had announced their intentions to boycott the PM’s event in advance over their respective issues with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
In a press release issued to the media, Rajbhar expressed his disappointment over the fact that the postal stamp commemorated to Maharaja Suheldev by the Prime Minister did not carry his full name — Maharaja Suheldev Rajbhar. “It is an attempt to wipe out the Rajbhars from history,” said Rajbhar claiming that the BJP was cheating. The 11th-century king is supposed to be an icon of the Rajbhar community in eastern UP.
Rajbhar won the Zahoorabad Assembly seat for the first time in 2017 in alliance with the BJP.
On the other hand, the Apna Dal (S) is miffed over the alleged arrogance of the state BJP leadership which, the Dal claimed, was not according to due respect to smaller allies.
Apna Dal (S) chief Ashish Patel, husband of Anupriya Patel, had claimed that his party was feeling neglected. Announcing his party’s decision to keep away from PM’s function in Ghazipur, Patel had sought the intervention of the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah to settle their issues.
The party has two MPs in the Lok Sabha. Anupriya Patel had won in 2014 from Mirzapur and Harivansh Singh from Pratapgarh in alliance with the BJP. Together with the Apna Dal, the BJP’s tally went up to 73 of 80 Lok Sabha seats in 2014.
“We want some respect in the alliance and the BJP should learn some lessons from the defeat in recently-concluded elections in three states,” Patel said. He added that till the issues raised by his party were not addressed by the BJP national leadership, they would not participate in any event of the BJP or the PM.