In a major blow to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), its allies in Uttar Pradesh — Apna Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) — have decided to stay away from events to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday.
Ashish Patel, the state unit chief of Apna Dal, said his party was “immensely hurt by the arrogant attitude of the BJP leaders in Uttar Pradesh” and charged them with “insulting party leaders and the weaker sections of the society”.
He also announced that till the matter between the two allies was not settled, Apna Dal will not attend any government programmes.
Demanding Modi’s intervention in sorting out the matter of the increasing divide between the two parties, who contested the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2017 state Assembly polls together, Patel said his party leaders will not attend the events scheduled to be in Varanasi and Ghazipur.
This is the first time that Apna Dal has taken such a tough stance. Other than being miffed at the continuous neglect by the Yogi Adityanath government, the party is also angry at the fact that Union Minister of State for Health, Anupriya Patel is not invited to events related to her ministry.
The SBSP has also announced that it will “boycott” Prime Minister’s programmes. This announcement comes as a big blow to the BJP as Modi is scheduled to release a postal stamp in the name of Maharaja Suheldev.
The SBSP has claimed that the party chief and state Minister for Backward Classes Welfare Om Prakash Rajbhar’s name has been “deliberately omitted from the invitation card”.
While the Apna Dal has two Lok Sabha MP’s and 9 seats in the 403-member state Assembly, the SBSP has four legislators in the state.