Mirzapur: Small parties should be respected and given due importance by their bigger allies, Ashish Patel, national president of Apna Dal (S) party, a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), said on Tuesday.
He also cautioned the saffron party that a tie-up between the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh would pose a challenge to it in 2019 Lok Sabha election.
"We small parties, like the Apna Dal(S), want some respect to be shown to us. We, our leaders and workers feel hurt if due importance is not given to us," Ashish Patel told mediapersons here.
He added that his party was not happy with the behaviour of the BJP-led state government with Union Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel, also his wife.
The Apna Dal (S) chief claimed that she was not given adequate importance and not even invited for inaugurations of medical colleges.
Ashish Patel's remarks come days after Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) Chief Upendra Kushwaha walked out of the NDA. He was upset with the BJP after it asserted that the RLSP would not be given more than two seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
Earlier in March, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) ended its four-year-old alliance with the NDA over the Centre's refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh.
Asked how many seats his party would like to contest in in Uttar Pradesh in 2019 Lok Sabha election, Ashish Patel said it would be revealed when the time comes.
He asserted that the Apna Dal(S) had widened its base during the last five years.
The party's candidates Anupriya Patel and Harivansh Singh won from Mirzapur and Pratapgarh respectively.
Responding to a question, Ashish Patel denied that the BJP's defeats in the recently concluded assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had weakened the party.
"However, the defeat is a matter of concern. The BJP leadership should review the poll outcome in-depth," he said.
He added his party would like to see Narendra Modi as the prime minister again after next year's general election.
The Apna Dal(S) chief said the NDA partners should be ready to face a BSP-SP alliance.
"Such a tie-up will pose a challenge before the BJP," Ashish Patel said.
To be able to face the situation, the NDA members should sit together and discuss the scenario, he said.
He also expressed concern over the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh.