UP bypolls: Tussle between BJP and its alliance partner

UP bypolls: Tussle between BJP and its alliance partner

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during election campaign for Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel. (PTI File Photo)

BJP and Apna Dal (AD), its alliance partner, were locked in a tussle over one of the assembly seats, where by-polls was slated to be held in the next few days.

According to the sources, the Pratapgarh Sadar assembly seat, which fell vacant after the sitting MLA Sangam Lal Gupta was elected to Lok Sabha on BJP ticket, was the bone of contention between the two parties.

Interestingly in the 2017 assembly polls in the state, the seat had been given to AD, which had contested the elections in alliance with the BJP. Gupta was the AD nominee but he had contested on BJP symbol.

The state BJP unit has made it clear to the central leadership of the party that it was not in favour of leaving the seat to the AD. ''We want to contest from the seat....AD may not be able to win from there,'' said a senior UP BJP leader here.

The AD, however, was in no mood to oblige the BJP and hinted that it would field its candidate from there. ''It was our seat and we intend to contest from there,'' said an AD leader here.

The relations between the BJP and AD have not been cordial after the LS polls. AD leader Anupriya Patel, who was a minister in previous NDA regime, was not included in its second innings.

The AD, which had nine members in the assembly, had only one minister of state and no cabinet minister in the BJP-led government in the state. The party has been demanding a full cabinet rank minister. 

AD, which was a party of 'Kurmis' (an OBC), wielded considerable influence on the community, which formed around four per cent of the total electorate in UP.