Anupriya Patel, a first-time MP from Uttar Pradesh, was among the 19 new ministers who joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government today. The 35-year-old lawmaker from Mirzapur is one of the youngest ministers in the government.
One person who is definitely not celebrating her big day is her mother Krishna Patel, the chief of the BJP’s Uttar Pradesh ally Apna Dal.
Last year, Krishna Patel suspended her daughter for six years for “anti-party activities” and stripped her of all posts. Since the death of Ms Patel’s father Sone Lal – the founder of Apna Dal – in a road accident in 2009, mother and daughter have fought bitterly.
Ms Patel’s supporters insist she represents the real Apna Dal and no one has the right to expel her.
Sources say the BJP sees her as an important addition from Uttar Pradesh, where elections are due next year. Ms Patel represents the Kurmi caste, a politically significant backward caste in the state. She is seen as a counter to another Kurmi leader, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has been proactive in the state as parties prep for polls.
A psychology graduate from Delhi’s prestigious LSR College and also an MBA, Ms Patel debuted as lawmaker after winning the 2012 Uttar Pradesh election. Two years later, she won a Lok Sabha seat.
Ms Patel has often drawn praise in Parliament for her articulate speeches.
Apna Dal has two members in the Lok Sabha. The other MP, Haribansh Singh, is loyal to Ms Patel’s mother.
Recently, Krishna Patel had reportedly threatened to snap ties with the BJP if her estranged daughter was made a minister.