U.P. Assembly elections | Now SP ally Apna Dal (K) expresses concern over seat sharing

Party has significant voter base in central and easter U.P.

Updated - September 27, 2023 10:34 am IST

Published - February 03, 2022 08:43 am IST - LUCKNOW

The Apna Dal-Kameravadi (Apna Dal-K), an Other Backward Class (OBC)-based ally of the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh, on Wednesday expressed concern over an “uncomfortable situation” between the parties over seat sharing in the 2022 Assembly election.

This came hours after the SP declared Pallavi Patel, Apna Dal (K) as its candidate from Sirathu in Kaushambi against Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya.

Ms. Pallavi is the sister of Union Minister Anupriya Patel, who heads the rival faction of the Apna Dal, the Apna Dal (Sonelal). Ms. Anupriya has been a BJP ally since 2014.

Mr. Maurya was fielded from Sirathu by the BJP after dropping a sitting MLA Sheetla Prasad, who hails from the Kurmi community. By fielding Ms. Pallavi Patel, a Kurmi, the SP hopes to leverage that factor against the high-value opponent, himself an OBC.

The Apna Dal (K) had finalised candidates for seven seats: Rohaniya and Pindra in Varanasi, Mariyahu in Jaunpur, Marihan in Mirzapur, Ghorawal in Sonbhadra, Pratapgarh Sadar, and Allahabad West. However, sources said the party was not happy that the SP had fielded Ms. Pallavi on an SP symbol. Moreover, on Wednesday, the SP also declared a candidate for the Allahabad West seat, which was claimed by the Apna Dal (K).

SP student leader and runner-up in 2017, Richa Singh, who was hoping for a second run from the seat, publicly expressed her disappointment over denial of the ticket and questioned the party’s choice of candidate, Amarnath Maurya, alleging that he had links to Mr. Keshav.

However, major concerns arose after the Apna Dal (K) maintained a silence over the nomination from Sirathu and Allahabad West.

Pankaj Niranjan, general secretary of the Apna Dal (K), said that while the party was not yet considering breaking its alliance with the SP, there was an “uncomfortable situation” between them on some seats.

Mr. Niranjan told reporters in Varanasi that the “uncomfortable situation” was not just on Sirathu but on six-seven other seats in Jaunpur, Prayagraj and Varanasi as well.

He, however, said that his party expected the SP to sort out the matter and acknowledged that its senior ally had an “overflow” of leaders and mass support.

“We will not do anything that will weaken this fight or mission. We are fighting for social justice and see with the SP on issues,” Mr. Niranjan said.Both factions of the Apna Dal stake claim to the legacy of Kurmi leader Sonelal Patel as well as the Kurmi vote. The Apna Dal (Sonelal) won nine seats in 2017.

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