Another BJP partner in UP threatens to leave

Another BJP partner in UP threatens to leave

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath exchanges greetings with Union minister and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel at a function to celebrate her father Sonelal Patel's 69th birth anniversary, in Lucknow on Monday. PTI

Even as the BJP tries hard to pacify the sulking Uttar Pradesh minister and Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party (SBSP) chief Om Prakash Rajbhar, Apna Dal (AD), its alliance partner in the state on Wednesday threatened to leave the alliance if its demands are not met.

AD leader and Union minister Anupriya Patel said her party was not getting the "respect" it deserved from the Uttar Pradesh government and that the party could leave the alliance if the situation did not change.

"BJP is not fulfilling the coalition dharma (obligations)... we have always tried to follow it... we will be forced to leave the alliance if the situation continued," she said in an informal chat with reporters.

"We are being neglected by the UP government... we are not even invited for official programmes... it can not be tolerated," she said.

Sources said that AD had demanded a "respectable number of seats" to continue the tie-up with the BJP in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

AD is predominantly a caste-based outfit, which had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls in alliance with the BJP and had won two seats. The party wants half a dozen seats this time.

AD is a party of the Kurmi community (OBC) in the state and has wielded considerable influence in the community, which is 4% of the electorate in Uttar Pradesh.

They play a decisive role in around a dozen Lok Sabha constituencies in about half a dozen districts in eastern Uttar Pradesh.

The SBSP, another alliance partner of the BJP in UP, has already warned of severing its ties with the saffron party if not given its "due" in the LS elections.