BJP Ally Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel Skips Yogi Adityanath's Programme

Anupriya Patel was also not present at a function attended by Yogi Adityanath in Siddharthnagar on Tuesday

Union minister Anupriya Patel is the wife of Apna Dal (S) leader Ashish Patel

Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh:

Union minister and Apna Dal (S) leader Anupriya Patel today skipped Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's programme in Deoria district, a day after her husband and party president Ashish Patel voiced concern over the treatment of smaller NDA allies.

Mr Adityanath was inaugurating a medical college in Deoria.

Anupriya Patel, the Union minister of state for health, was also not present at a function attended by the chief minister in Siddharthnagar on Tuesday. The same day, her husband and party president had alleged at a press conference in Mirzapur that smaller parties were feeling "ignored" by the bigger NDA partner -- the BJP.

When asked about the Union minister skipping the programme, Apna Dal (S) leader Anurag Patel told PTI over phone, "There was no formal invitation to her by the government so she did not attend the events on December 25 and 26."

However, when BJP Deoria district media in-charge Satyedra Mani was asked for his comment, he said, "She did not come to the programme and I do not know the reason behind her absence."

On Tuesday, Apna Dal leader and Shohratgarh legislator Amar Singh attended the chief minister's programme in Siddharthnagar. He told reporters afterwards that the government should have invited Anupriya Patel.

Ashish Patel claimed that his party was not getting "proper importance" and said that the state BJP leadership was not giving the respect the party deserves.

"The BJP should learn from the recent losses (in assembly elections). The SP-BSP alliance is a challenge for the NDA, whose allies in UP are upset. The leadership at the Centre must do something else the NDA would suffer in UP," he had told reporters.

The Apna Dal (S) not only went public with its frustration with the BJP, but also demanded a "respectable number" of seats to contest the Lok Sabha elections, asserting that the party had widened its base during the last five years.

Ashish Patel's outburst came days after Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) Chief Upendra Kushwaha walked out of the NDA. He was upset with the BJP after it asserted that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

Earlier in March, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ended its four-year-old alliance with the NDA over the centre's refusal to grant a special category status to Andhra Pradesh.