Anupriya Patel, president of the Apna Dal (Sonelal) party, was sworn in on Wednesday as part of the enlargement of the Council of Ministers under the NDA government led by Narendra Modi. Patel is one of seven women to be sworn in today. Member of Parliament for Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, Patel’s party is currently in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The 40-year-old is serving her second term as a member of Lok Sabha and previously served as Union Minister of State for Health during the NDA government’s first term.
She began her political career with Apna Dal, a party formed in 1995 by her father, the late Sonelal Patel, a popular leader among the Kurmis, a backward caste present in eastern UP and Bundelkhand.
However, before the 2017 parliamentary elections, Anupriya formed Apna Dal (S) after a dispute with her mother, who led the parent party. He claims to have support from Kurmis as well as non-Yadav OBC groups such as Kushwaha, Maurya, Nishad, Pal and Saini in UP.
The separatist party continued the alliance with the BJP and in the 2017 parliamentary elections contested 11 seats and won 9.
Prior to his political career, Anupriya worked as a professor at Amity University and holds an MBA from Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj University, Kanpur. She is married to Ashish Patel, a member of the UP Legislative Council.