Lucknow: Two parties allied to the BJP, Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Suheldeo Bharat Samaj Party (SBSP) have struck a discordant note over seat-sharing in elections to urban local bodies in the state.
Apna Dal (S), led by Union minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel, has decided to stay away from the fray and even refrain from supporting and campaigning for BJP candidates.
However, SBSP, led by Uttar Pradesh Cabinet minister Om Prakash Rajbhar, has decided to field candidates in the urban local bodies in six districts of eastern UP.
The SBSP has announced the list of candidates for the chairmen of municipal councils and municipal corporations in Deoria, Ballia, Ghazipur, Jaunpur, Sant Ravidas Nagar (Bhadoi) and Mau. The party has also decided to field candidates in three wards of Gorakhpur Municipal Corporation.
Apna Dal (S) announced that the decision to stay away from elections to urban local bodies would have no bearing on the alliance with the BJP.
"Apna Dal (S) will not contest the elections of the urban local bodies and it will also not support any party in the elections," said party spokesman Brijendra Singh, adding that the party had left it to the discretion of the rank and file to support whichever party they desired.
Sources in the party said Apna Dal (S) had decided to stay away from elections following the refusal of BJP to share seats of chairmen of nagar palika panchayats and a number of wards.
Last month, party chief Anupriya Patel had announced that her party would contest in the local body elections in Mirzapur, Varanasi, Allahabad and several other districts where the party enjoyed significant support base. She had also directed her party leaders to submit a report on the electoral prospects of the party and list of the potential candidates from several districts where the party intended to contest the elections.
Meanwhile, BJP worker Ganesh Prasad Soni attempted to set himself on fire on Saturday after he failed to get the party ticket to contest in the elections. He poured kerosene oil on himself and tried to set himself ablaze. However, bystanders prevented him from setting himself ablaze.
Party spokesman Harish Chandra Srivastav said, "The party cadres are expected to behave in a responsible manner. The Election Committee of the party is constantly in session from November 1 and the selection process was on and would be completed within the time-frame set by the State Election Commission. UNI