Nadda slams Kejriwal government for 'obstructing' Centre's welfare schemes in Delhi

By PTI

NEW DELHI: BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday announced an alliance with Apna Dal and Nishad Party, which draw their support primarily from sections of backward castes, for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Details about how many seats each party will contest will be announced later, their leaders said.

Addressing a press conference, Nadda said the three National Democratic Alliance partners in the state will fight the elections to 403-member assembly together and lauded Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath-led government for its performance on a host of issues, including law and order, investment and improvement in social indicators.

Apna Dal chief Anupriya Patel, a Union minister, and Nishad Party supremo Sanjay Nishad hailed Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre for working for the interests of Other Backward Classes (OBC) and hit out at the BJP’s rivals for “denying” a large section of backward communities their rights.

Nadda claimed that the mafia used to be active in Uttar Pradesh in nexus with the government before the BJP came to power there, but the Yogi Adityanath dispensation has restored the rule of law in the state and made it a destination for investment.

Earlier, investors were withdrawing their investment, he alleged.

Under the ‘double-engine’ government, a reference to the BJP being power at the Centre as well as in the state, Uttar Pradesh has improved on social indicators, with connectivity and education, especially medical education, receiving a boost, he said.

Patel said the BJP government has been a good “cocktail” of development and social justice.

Both BJP allies said the NDA will again form a government in Uttar Pradesh and praised the state government too.

Later talking to reporters, Patel said that seat-sharing talks are progressing in a positive manner and the broader aim of all three allies is that NDA should again form a government in Uttar Pradesh.

Echoing similar sentiments, Nishad said the main priority is to win the election and seat sharing talks are in an advanced stage.

Posting a picture of NDA leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the two allies besides several others, Nadda tweeted that the alliance will again cross the tally of 300 in the state.

Shah tweeted about the meeting with the two parties for alliance talks and asserted that the NDA will again form the government with a massive majority.

The blessings of the people of Uttar Pradesh are with the alliance, he said.

Both Patel and Nishad hailed the Modi government for granting constitutional status to the OBC commission and giving the community reservation in education, including in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.

Samajwadi Party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav’s daughter-in-law Aparna Yadav and late Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat’s younger brother Vijay Rawat, also a retired army officer, joined the BJP on Wednesday as the party moved to bolster its strength in poll-bound states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

BJP president J P Nadda also formally announced his party’s alliance for UP polls with Union minister Anupriya Patel-led Apna Dal and Sanjay Nishad’s Nishad Party that draw their strength primarily from sections of backward castes, while the state assembly Deputy Speaker Nitin Agarwal quit the Samajwadi Party, a formality before he joins the ruling party whose support had ensured his election.

The BJP has been inducting leaders from various parties in all five poll-bound states, including Goa, Punjab and Manipur, as it seeks to retain power in four states and put up an impressive show in Congress-ruled Punjab.

With Uttar Pradesh being the politically most crucial state, the BJP has been pulling out all the stops to strengthen its ranks after a number of its leaders, including ministers in the state government, recently joined Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party.

The ruling party has worked to get back at the rival by inducting a few of its leaders, including MLAs, into its fold.

Yadav, who is married to SP president Akhilesh Yadav’s half-brother Prateek Yadav, had contested and lost the 2017 assembly polls from Lucknow Cantt on an SP ticket and her defection to the BJP gives the ruling party a weapon to target Akhilesh Yadav and his party over internal differences in the family.

Aparna Yadav (32) runs an NGO for cow welfare in Lucknow, and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to the centre in 2017 had first sparked buzz about her growing proximity to the BJP.

Inducting her into the party, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya and UP BJP president Swatantra Dev Singh noted her inclination towards their party, and Aparna Yadav also asserted that she was always impressed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and has put national interest first.

Maurya was quick to attack Akhilesh Yadav, saying he has not been successful in his family and was also “unsuccessful” as chief minister and MP.

In Lucknow, Akhilesh Yadav said his father tried hard to dissuade Aparna Yadav from joining the BJP and quipped that he was “happy” the SP’s socialist ideology is expanding its reach.

The BJP is also hopeful that Rawat (59) joining its fold will help it in Uttarakhand where his late brother and India’s first CDS enjoyed a lot of popular goodwill.

The Congress is working hard to defeat the ruling party in the hill state, and Rawat’s induction may help it in rallying voters in Uttarakhand where veterans live in large numbers, BJP leaders believe.

Noting that his father, also a former army officer, was associated with the BJP, Rawat expressed happiness at working for the party and lavished praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he has a unique vision and mindset.

He thinks out of the box and all his efforts are directed towards the country’s betterment, Rawat said.

Welcoming him into the party, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the late CDS wanted to work for the state after retirement and his younger brother will advance his vision.

With Other Backward Classes voters making up the largest segment of the population in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP’s announcement of an alliance with Apna Dal and Nishad Party is aimed at consolidating its support in a demography which is also being aggressively wooed by former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Patel said the BJP government has been a good “cocktail” of development and social justice.

Both BJP allies said the NDA will again form a government in Uttar Pradesh and praised the state government too.

Posting a picture of NDA leaders, including Home Minister Amit Shah, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and the two allies besides several others, Nadda tweeted that the alliance will again cross the tally of 300 in the state.

Shah tweeted about the meeting with the two parties for alliance talks and asserted that the NDA will again form the government with a massive majority.

The blessings of the people of Uttar Pradesh are with the alliance, he said.

Both Patel and Nishad hailed the Modi government for granting constitutional status to the OBC commission and giving the community reservation in education, including in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test.