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Meeting with BJP president Amit Shah positive: Apna Dal chief

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Press Trust of India Lucknow
Amid reports of differences with its ally BJP, Apna Dal (Sonelal) chief Ashish Singh Patel Thursday said he had a "positive" meeting with Amit Shah, but all options were open if a certain section of saffron party leaders "do not change their attitude".
Ashish Singh Patel, the husband of Union Minister Anupriya Patel, had met BJP national president Amit Shah at New Delhi on Wednesday.
"We have put up various issues before Shah. Overall, the meeting was positive," he told PTI, adding the talks were regarding the "problems" his party was facing with the BJP's Uttar Pradesh unit.
Anupriya Patel had last week accused the BJP of "apparently not taking care of its allies" and said that her party was "free to take its own decisions" regarding the upcoming general elections.
"Some differences cropped up between the Apna Dal and the BJP. We had given them time till February 20 to resolve the issues, but there is no answer from the BJP. It appears they are not interested in taking care of their allies," Apna Dal leader and Union Minister Anupriya Patel had told reporters in Bareilly last week.
"Now, the Apna Dal is free to make its own decision. A party meeting has been called to chalk out our future course of action," she had said.
On Thursday, Ashish Singh Patel alleged that a section of BJP leaders did not want Apna Dal (Sonelal) stay in alliance with the saffron party.
"This section used to create many problems for us. If they do not change attitude our options are open," he said.
Ashish Singh Patel said a meeting of all the office-bearers of his party, which was supposed to be held in the state capital on Thursday, has been rescheduled due to India-Pakistan tensions.
"Our party demands appointment of Dalits and (people belonging to backward communities on 50 per cent police stations of the state besides giving either DM or SP post in districts to these category officers. Our party workers should be considered in appointment in various state corporations," he said.
He refuted reports of Anupriya Patel meeting Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra as "baseless".
Apna Dal, a crucial ally of the BJP in Uttar Pradesh, had won two seats -- Mirzapur and Pratapgarh -- in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 4:25 PM IST

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