The Bharatiya Janata Party will ally with the Nishad Party for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections next year, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on Friday, according to The Times of India.
“We reiterate our being together for the forthcoming UP elections,” Pradhan, who is the BJP’s in-charge for the Uttar Pradesh election, told reporters.
The Union minister said that a seat-sharing formula has been finalised and will be announced at “an appropriate time”.
The Uttar Pradesh elections are expected to be held in February or March 2022.
The Nishad, or Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal, holds influence among the fisherfolk and boat-rowing communities in eastern Uttar Pradesh, according to The Indian Express. While Sanjay Nishad is the president of the party, his son Praveen Nishad is a BJP member of Parliament from Sant Kabir Nagar.
The Nishad community accounts for about 15% of the Other Backward Classes in Uttar Pradesh, according to The Times of India.
Pradhan said that the saffron party is also in contact with other smaller parties and will bring them on board as well.
“Politics is a dynamic process and requires assimilation of different political groups,” he told The Times of India. He added that the BJP will nurture leaders of various caste groups within the party fold, and will follow the principle of social harmony.
The Apna Dal (Sonelal) is already a part of the BJP-led alliance in the state, The Indian Express noted. Apna Dal (Sonelal) had allied with the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as well, and party leader Anupriya Patel is currently the Union minister of state for commerce and industry.
In 2017, the BJP had also allied with the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party, which is led by Zahoorabad MLA Om Prakash Rajbhar. However, the party broke away from the alliance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.