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Have to once again make Apna Dal (S), BJP and NISHAD party win: Shah

‘BJP-Apna Dal(S) alliance has rid UP of ‘divisive’ SP, BSP’

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LUCKNOW, July 2 (PTI): Union home minister Amit Shah on Sunday said Uttar Pradesh got completely rid of the “divisive forces” of SP and BSP after the BJP and the Apna Dal (Sonelal) joined hands, as he made a strong pitch for consolidation of backward caste voters in the state ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

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The senior BJP leader made these remarks while addressing a function here to mark the birth anniversary of late Kurmi (backward caste) leader Sonelal Patel, the father of Union minister Anupriya Patel.

Shah highlighted the success of the BJP and Apna Dal (Sonelal) alliance, noting that it has won four elections in the state since 2014, and targeted the Congress, BSP and SP.

He claimed that the maximum number of MPs belonging to the OBCs, SCs and STs were from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and listed steps taken by the Modi government for the uplift of these communities.

“Sonelal Patel made efforts to usher in happiness in the lives of the poor people from different sections by uniting them. He went to jail and even faced torture, but he did not leave the path of struggle undertaken for the backward people.

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“It is a matter of happiness that the path shown by Sonelal Patel has been taken forward by sister Anupriya ji in continuing to work for the backward people,” he said.

In UP, the BJP and Apna Dal (S) have contested four elections together – two Lok Sabha polls (2014 and 2019) and two assembly elections (2017 and 2022) – and have unitedly won them, he said.

“As a result, UP has got completely rid of divisive forces (‘vighatankaari shaktiyon’) of SP and BSP,” Shah said.

The union home minister a number of measures have been taken under the last nine years of the Modi government to bring a change in the lives of the poor, especially the backward community.

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“After Independence, it was the first council of ministers of the BJP and NDA, in which 27 ministers were from the backward community. The maximum number of MPs from the OBC, SC and ST elected in any alliance was in the NDA (National Democratic Alliance).

“The Congress, SP and BSP were either in power or partners in power but they never worked to give constitutional status to the backward class commission.

“They never formed commissions like the one for the Dalit brothers or for the tribal (‘adivasi’) brothers. Modi ji worked to give constitutional status to the OBC Commission, by which the path of development of the backward class was laid,” Shah said.

The BJP leader said that the law and order situation in UP has improved and under the leadership of chief minister Yogi Adityanath and the state was attracting industrial investment.

“The schemes meant for the poor, which were sent by Modi ji, are being implemented by the UP administration,” he added.

Appealing to the Apna Dal (S) workers, Shah said they “have to once again make Apna Dal (S), BJP and NISHAD party win on all the seats of UP” in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing the gathering, Apna Dal (Sonelal) chief and Union minister Anupriya Patel said Shah had played an important role in their alliance.

“BJP-Apna Dal (S) together have contested four elections since 2014 and it is an old alliance. Amit Shah played the most important role in this. You gave us affection, respect and guidance,” she said.

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath also spoke on this occasion.

Both deputy chief ministers Keshav Prasad Maurya and Brajesh Pathak, UP BJP chief Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary and union minister Ramdas Athawale were among those present at the event.

The Apna Dal was founded by Sonelal Patel in 1995. Born on July 2, 1950 in Bagulihai village in Kannauj district, Sonelal Patel was a close companion of BSP founder Kanshi Ram. He died in a road accident in 2009.

In October 2014, fissures within the Apna Dal became public for the first time as its then national general secretary Anupriya Patel was removed from her post.

Later, the two Apna Dal factions aligned with rival groupings led by the BJP and the Samajwadi Party. The Apna Dal (Sonelal) has 13 MLAs and two MPs, including Anupriya Patel. Her husband Ashish Patel is a cabinet minister in the BJP-led government in Uttar Pradesh.

The rival faction is led by her mother Krishna Patel and elder sister Pallavi Patel.

Pallavi Patel trounced UP deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya from the Sirathu assembly seat in the 2022 elections as an SP candidate.


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