'Nitish snapping ties with BJP won't have impact in UP': Apna Dal on NDA's future

The Apna Dal (S) headed by Union minister Anupriya Patel has 12 MLAs and two MPs from Uttar Pradesh, and is an ally of the BJP.
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel (Photo | PTI)
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Anupriya Patel (Photo | PTI)

LUCKNOW: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar snapping ties with the BJP won't have any impact in Uttar Pradesh, the Apna Dal (Sonelal) said on Wednesday asserting that the Kurmi leader has no influence in the state.

The Apna Dal (S) headed by Union minister Anupriya Patel has 12 MLAs and two MPs from Uttar Pradesh, and is an ally of the BJP.

The Janata Dal (United) snapped tied with the BJP in Bihar and formed a new government in coalition with the RJD, Congress and four other parties.

"The separation of the JD(U) from the BJP in Bihar will have no impact on the Kurmi caste people in Uttar Pradesh. He (Kumar) has negligible influence in UP," Apna Dal (S) national spokesman Rajesh Patel said.

He maintained that Bihar politics as well as its geography and social conditions are different.

"In Uttar Pradesh, our ties with the BJP will continue strongly. There will be no impact of Nitish Kumar leaving the BJP here," he added. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader Lalji Verma, also a Kurmi, told PTI, "There is anger among people against the BJP's policies."

"Nitish Kumar leaving the BJP will have an impact among the Kurmi and other OBC castes in UP. Like Bihar, the opposition coalition will receive further strength in UP after this development," said Verma, who had crossed over to the SP from the BSP on the eve of recent UP polls.

Backward caste Kurmi forms six per cent of the Uttar Pradesh population.

Voters belonging to the caste have a say in elections in about 25 districts of the state.

Kurmi votes play a crucial role in influencing poll outcome on many seats in Mirzapur, Maharajganj, Azamgarh, Bahraich, Sravasti, Lakhimpur Kheri, Kanpur, Prayagraj, Kaushambi, Siddarthnagar, Basti and Pilibhit.

Presently, state minister Swatantra Dev Singh, who earlier headed the BJP in UP, comes from the Kurmi caste.

Former Union minister Beni Prasad Verma, who belonged to the caste, has been a prominent leader of the Samajwadi Party (SP) for long.

The Akhilesh Yadav-headed SP presently has Kurmi leader Uttam Patel as its state president.

The dominance of the kurmi caste in UP politics could be assessed from the fact that 41 MLAs from the community got elected in the 2022 assembly elections.

Of them, 27 were from the BJP-led alliance and 13 from the Samajwadi Party.

The Apna Dal was founded by Kurmi leader Sonelal Patel.

It entered an alliance with the BJP in 2014.

But in 2016, it was divided into two factions--Apna Dal (S) led by Anupriya Patel and Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) headed by party founder's wife Krishna Patel.

Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar had contested the 2022 UP elections on its own.

It had fielded candidates on 27 assembly seats but could not win any seat.

The Bihar-based party got only 0.11 per cent of votes in the UP polls.

Nitish himself had not come to UP to campaign for his party.

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