New Delhi: Apna Dal (Sonelal), a constituent of the ruling NDA in Uttar Pradesh clarified that it has no plans to field candidate from the prime minister’s Varanasi Lok Sabha seat in 2019. Denying media reports that claimed that Apna Dal (S) was planning to contest 10 Lok Sabha seats in the next general election, including Varanasi, party’s chief Ashish Patel stated,”Narendra Modi is our leader.” Also Read - Explained | Can India Afford Another Lockdown?

“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 added. Also Read - PM Modi to Review COVID Situation With CMs of 8 States Today: Here's What To Expect

Furthermore, 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. Also Read - Economic Reforms Will Continue, More Ahead, Says Sitharaman

Recently, Apna Dal (S) leader and Union Minister Anupriya Patel, gave a miss to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s programme in Deoria district, a day after her husband and party president voiced frustration with the BJP over “treatment” of smaller NDA allies.

She was also not present at a function attended by the chief minister in Siddharthnagar on Tuesday, 25 December. The same day, her husband and party President Ashish Patel alleged at a press conference in Mirzapur that smaller parties were feeling “ignored” by the bigger NDA partner – the BJP.

Patel had claimed that his party was not getting “proper importance” and said that the state BJP leadership was not giving the respect the party deserves.

(With inputs from PTI)