BJP announced an alliance with Apna Dal on Monday, which enjoys some following among Kurmi community in parts of Uttar Pradesh, under which the regional outfit will contest in two constituencies in Lok Sabha elections.
BJP spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi made the announcement in the presence of its UP affairs in-charge Amit Shah, the lone Apna Dal MLA Anupriya Patel and her mother and its president Krishna Patel.
BJP hopes the alliance will help it make further inroads in OBC community, especially in eastern UP where the Dal has its support base.
"It will strengthen BJP and Apna Dal as well," Shah, a Narendra Modi aide and key party strategist, said.
Naqvi said Apna Dal has worked among weaker and backward communities of the society and the alliance will boost the party's prospects.
The regional outfit will fight from Pratapgarh and Mirzapur. Anupriya Patel said she will contest from Mirzapur while the candidate for Pratapgarh will be chosen later.
Founded by Sone Lal Patel, who was also a founder-leader of BSP but quit the party after differences with Mayawati, the party had garnered 50,000 to one lakh votes in some constituencies in 2009 elections.
Anupriya hit out at SP and BSP, alleging these parties have neglected the interest of the poor and backward and claimed Narendra Modi is a hope for them. "Modi also comes from a backward caste. His leadership will change the fortune of the country," she said.