Family feud in Apna Dal first family resurfaces as Anupriya Patel meets Ram Vilas Paswan while Krishna Patel invites opposition leaders
While in a significant move Apna Dal faction headed by Anupriya Patel roped in Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, a minister in Modi cabinet, at the function organised in Lucknow.
LUCKNOW: Yet another feud simmering in the first family of Apna Dal surfaced on 69th birth anniversary of its late president Dr Sone Lal Patel on Monday when his wife and Apna Dal chief Krishna Patel and daughter and Union Minister Anupriya Patel not only observed the occasion organising separate events but also reflected their different political inclinations ahead of General elections next year.
While in a significant move Apna Dal faction headed by Anupriya Patel roped in Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan, a minister in Modi cabinet, at the function organised in Lucknow. CM Yogi Adityanath also participated in the birth anniversary celebrations of OBC leader and paid his tributes.
On the contrary, Krishna Patel organised the event in Varanasi and invited opposition leaders including RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary, senior Congress leader Sanjay Singh, besides leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist), Nationalist Congress Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal, in a show of opposition unity against the BJP. However, the presence of Paswan was being seen as a bid of the BJP and allies to counter the SP-BSP alliance especially in the wake of BJP defeats in Phulpur, Gorakhpur, Kairana and Noorpur bypolls.
While paying tributes to Sone Lal Patel, LJP chief Paswan fired a salvo at the opposition accusing it of treating the backwards and minority as 'bonded labourer' used to get votes by scaring them of the BJP. He asked the opposition, especially, those who claim to be the protector of minorities, as to why they nevr appointed a Muslim the CM of UP.
"I want to make it clear to the Muslims brethren that till the fear of BJP is being shown to them by the political players, they should clearly understand that they are being treated as bonded labourers," said Paswan.
"Are the Muslims forced to vote only for Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav, Mayawati or the Congress," asked the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Narrating his experience in Bihar, Paswan claimed that once he had proposed RJD chief Lalu Yadav to make a Muslim the CM but he preferred Rabri Devi. Paswan said the despite having their own ideologies, parties when in coalition, rund a government as per a common minimum programme.
"When the BJP stormed to power (in 2014), what was the need to make Ram Vilas Paswan or even Anupriya Patel a Union minister. This is a signal that we are fighting for social justice," Paswan said. "In the next (2019 Lok Sabha) election, there is no vacancy in Delhi for Prime Minister's post. We have a single leader -- Narendra Modi -- but opposition has many leaders.
The choice would be difficult for them as hardly anybody is ready to follow Rahul Gandhi. Mamata Banerjee has her own points and there is the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. In short, there is no vacancy," he said. He also urged the audience to join hands and gear up for the battle of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Responding to BSP chief Mayawati's diatribe against PM Modi and NDA government over Indian money in Swiss banks, the LJP chief said that those who got Rs 104 crore deposited to their accounts during demonetisation were raising finger at the Centre now. Earlier, speaking on the occasion, CM Yogi Adityanath attacked the previous SP regime of ignoring the interests of poor. The CM, in fact, recounted how various Central schemes meant for the poor were being ignored during the previous Akhilesh Yadav regime.