Rejig in Apna Dal (S): Anupriya takes party’s reins, replaces husband

Anupriya Patel has been elected as national president of Apna Dal (S)," party leader Arvind Sharma said. (Express File Photo)

Lok Sabha member from Mirzapur, Anupriya Patel, on Monday replaced her husband, Ashish Singh, as national president of her party, Apna Dal (Sonelal). The change in guard took pace as the party, which is an ally of the BJP, constituted its new national and state executive committees.

Anupriya Patel has been elected as national president of Apna Dal (S). Former party president Jawahar Lal Patel placed a proposal before the committee in this regard, which was approved by all the office bearers at the national executive committee meet of the party in Lucknow, party leader Arvind Sharma said.

After being elected as party chief, Anupriya told party workers that hard work and sacrifice would help the party grow and she would continue to work for social justice and removing economic and social imbalances in the society.

Explained

What does rejig mean for party

With the Assembly elections in UP just two and half years away, Apna Dal (S) has an uphill task ahead to strengthen the party so that it is in a much better position to bargain with national parties. Apna Dal (S), a BJP ally, has nine MLAs. With the party, which won two Lok Sabha seats in the latest General Elections, not getting a single ministerial berth in the Modi government, it is hoping to perform better electorally in the next Assembly polls.

She also asked party workers to ensure that there is a representative of the party at every booth in the state.

Anupriya started her political career with Apna Dal, a party formed by her father Sone Lal Patel. She went on to become a minister in the first five years of the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Ahead of the 2017 UP Assembly polls, she formed Apna Dal (Sonelal) after a dispute with her mother, who led Apna Dal.

Though Apna Dal (S) continues to be an ally of the BJP, she did not get a ministerial berth. The party has two MPs in the current Lok Sabha.

At Monday s meeting of the party, Rajesh Patel, who also hails from Mirzapur, was made national spokesperson of the party. Retired police officer OP Katiyar, considered close to her father, was made treasurer of the party.

The meeting was attended by Ashish Patel, who is also an MLC; UP minister for prison Jay Kumar Singh Jaiki as well as leader of the party in the Assembly Neel Ratan Patel, besides the rest of the party MLAs.