Lucknow, June 14 : In what should be a major reprieve for the beleaguered BJP in Uttar Pradesh, its ally, the Apna Dal led by Anupriya Patel, has denied speculations about the party driving a hard bargain with the BJP leadership to keep the alliance intact in the run-up to UP assembly elections due next year.
The Apna Dal (S) has been BJP's ally since 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
Apna Dal working president and Anupriya Patel's husband, Ashish Singh Patel, said, "We have not put forth any demand before the BJP. We will contest the forthcoming UP elections together BJP." His statement come sin the wake of reports that Anupriya Patel, during her recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, had sought a better deal for her party which included representation in the union cabinet and the state cabinet.
Interestingly, on a day when Anupriya met the union home minister, her estranged sister Pallavi Patel who is with the breakaway faction of the party, met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, in an apparent bid to frame up a new political alignment for the 2022 assembly elections.
The breakaway Apna Dal faction, led by Anupriya's mother Krishna Patel , has failed to make any political impact in UP.
Krishna Patel has herself lost the elections but also had her deposits forfeited.
Anupriya, who was a union minister in Modi1.0 government, had turned out to be a gainer, once again, in 2019 parliamentary elections when Apna Dal contested two seats and won both.
The party already has nine legislators in the state assembly.
Ashish Patel had got elected to legislative council with the backing of BJP in 2018.