Cong seals poll pact with Apna Dal faction

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 17, 2019 00:00 hrs

New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) The Congress on Saturday sealed an alliance with the Krishna Patel-led faction of the Apna Dal in Uttar Pradesh for the Lok Sabha elections, a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) finalised a seat sharing deal with the Apna Dal (Sone Lal), the other faction of the party led by Anupriya Patel, a Minister of State in the Narendra Modi government.

The Congress has left two Lok Sabha seats -- Pilibhit and Gonda -- for the alliance partner. The party had earlier communicated that the two seats were Basti and Gonda.

Soon after the finalisation of the alliance, Krishna Patel's son-in-law Pankaj Niranjan Singh Chandel joined the Congress and was welcomed to the party by its President Rahul Gandhi.

On Friday, the BJP sealed a seat-sharing arrangement with the Apna Dal(S). The Anupriya Patel faction will contest two seats.

The Apna Dal (Krishna Patel) is led by its founder Sone Lal Patel's widow. Sone Lal Patel, a regional leader of Patels, died in a car crash in 2009. The party was later split between his widow and elder daughter.