Law Kumar Mishra
Patna: JD(U) president and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who had held four pre-election meetings in UP, will address another rally at Phulpur in Allahabad, once the constitutency of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru and Vijayalakshmi Pandit, on July 16. Phulpur is now represented by BJP’s UP unit chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Nitish Kumar’s supporters have already reached Allahabad to make preparations for the rally. A team led by former principal secretary to Nitish, RCP Sinha, who was an IAS officer of UP cadre, is working there to attract electorate and leaders of Kurmi castes for the rlly. Sinha, a JD(U) Rajya Sabha member, is general secretary of the party too. Nitish had earlier held rallies in eastern UP- Varanasi, Gazipur and Mirzapur and one at Greater Noida.
With the Apna Dal president Krishna Patel, mother of the newly inducted union minister of state for health Anupriya Patel, coming out in open to support Nitish, JD(U) supporters are enthusiastic and hope Nitish rally would be a success at Phupur. Like PM Narendra Modi’s style of campaign to send an advance team of party leaders to the places where rallies are scheduled, Nitish too is sending his officials and political workers to make preparations in advance.
Kurmis are one of the biggest groups among OBCs in UP politics. Last week, BJP president Amit Shah also visited Allahabad and appealed to the kisans and Kurmis to support BJP in the coming assembly elections in UP. Samajwadi Party re-admitted Beni Prasad Verma, former union minister, into the party and made him a member of Rajya Sabha. The BJP made Anupriya Patel, a member in Narendra Modi cabinet.
Krishna Patel, who is fighting a legal battle with Anupriya in a court over control over Apna Dal, has claimed Anupriya has been expelled from the party. Her elder sister Pallavi Patel, who is vice-president of the party, has announced Apna Dal will contest 150 seats in the UP assembly elections. JD (U) will be an alliance partner with Apna Dal. Krishna Patel said Nitish had called her for a meeting at Patna a few weeks back but there was no talk with Prashant Kishore, who had managed JD(U)-RJD elections in Bihar last year, she said.

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