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No plans to contest Varanasi Lok Sabha seat: Apna Dal


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Apna Dal (Sonelal), a constituent of the ruling NDA in Uttar Pradesh, has no plans to field candidate from the prime minister's Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in 2019, its chief Ashish Patel said Saturday, asserting that Narendra Modi is "our leader".
Denying media reports that said his party was planning to contest 10 Lok Sabha seats in the next general election, including Varanasi, Patel claimed he has not made any such statement.
"I have not given any such statement that the Apna Dal is planning to contest 10 Lok Sabha seats including Varanasi in 2019 general elections. There are no such plans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is our leader and we will back his candidature on Varanasi seat," Patel said.
He said his party has not yet decided which Lok Sabha seats it will contest.
He, however, said the state government and the BJP leadership were neglecting his party and its leaders were not invited to functions organised by the Yogi Adityanath government.
Patel recently had alleged at a press conference in Mirzapur that smaller parties were feeling "ignored" by the bigger NDA partner the BJP.
The Apna Dal (S) has presence in over 15 of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh with its core voter base of Kurmi-Patel, and nearly one lakh of them only in the prime minister's constituency.
In 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the party had contested two seats in a pre-poll alliance with the BJP.
It has nine MLAs in the state assembly.

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First Published: Dec 29 2018 | 6:30 PM IST

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