Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Apna Dal (K) Open To Alliance With BJP-Led NDA Amid Political Shifts

Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Apna Dal (K) Open To Alliance With BJP-Led NDA Amid Political Shifts

This declaration follows Apna Dal (K)'s decision to sever ties with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and embark on an independent electoral journey for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

BISWAJEET BANERJEEUpdated: Friday, March 22, 2024, 08:25 PM IST
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Uttar Pradesh Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | FPJ

In a significant development amidst shifting political alliances in Uttar Pradesh, Pallavi Patel, the leader of Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), announced on Friday the party's readiness to forge an alliance with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), should such an offer be extended.

This declaration follows Apna Dal (K)'s decision to sever ties with the Samajwadi Party (SP) and embark on an independent electoral journey for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. 

Apna Dal (K) declared its intent to contest from three crucial Lok Sabha seats: Mirzapur, Phulpur, and Kaushambi. Notably, among these, Mirzapur's incumbent Member of Parliament is Pallavi Patel's estranged sister and Union Minister, Anupriya Patel, who leads Apna Dal (Sonelal).

Pallavi Patel stated, "There are no ongoing discussions with the NDA at present. However, our party will carefully consider any alliance offer presented to us." 

This announcement comes in the wake of SP President Akhilesh Yadav's assertion on Thursday that the alliance between Apna Dal (K) and the Samajwadi Party was exclusive to the 2022 Assembly polls and not extended to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Responding to Yadav's remarks, Pallavi Patel retorted, "Akhilesh Yadav is mistaken. The entirety of PDA (Pichda, Dalit, Alpsankhyak) votes does not belong to him. He merely commands 35 percent of the votes. If an alliance were to materialize, it should have been discussed."

The strains between the SP and its erstwhile allies have been public for some time. Earlier, Pallavi Patel, an Apna Dal (Kamerawadi) leader and SP MLA, abstained from voting for two SP candidates in the February Rajya Sabha polls, citing the SP's neglect of its own PDA formula in candidate selection. She later claimed to have voted for the sole Dalit candidate among the three SP nominees.

Before the 2022 state elections, the SP had formed a broad alliance comprising several smaller parties, including Apna Dal (Kamerawadi), Jayant Chaudhary’s RLD, Keshav Dev Maurya’s Mahan Dal, and Om Prakash Rajbhar’s Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP). However, the RLD and SBSP have since joined the BJP-led NDA, while the Mahan Dal has pledged support to the BSP, leaving the SP with only Apna Dal (Kamerawadi).

Apna Dal (K) traces its origins to the factional split within Apna Dal, which was founded by OBC leader Dr. Sonelal Patel. In contrast, the other faction, aligned with the BJP, is led by Anupriya Patel, Krishna Patel's other daughter, who serves as a Union minister and represents Mirzapur in the Lok Sabha.

In the 2019 elections, the BJP secured victories in all three seats claimed by Apna Dal (Kamerawadi). Vinod Sonkar won Kaushambi, Keshari Devi Patel secured Phoolpur, and Anupriya Patel emerged victorious in Mirzapur. Nonetheless, Apna Dal (Kamerawadi)'s senior leader, Pallavi Patel, clinched a victory in the 2022 Assembly polls, contesting under the SP banner and defeating Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Apna Dal (K) asserts influence among Kurmi (OBC) voters across the state and holds sway among Muslims in eastern and central UP, particularly in Varanasi, Prayagraj, and Mirzapur divisions. Its sphere of influence often overlaps with that of its rival faction, Apna Dal (Sonelal).

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