Akali Dal& BJP alliance weaker after Haryana Elections
Chandigarh, Oct 24 (IANS) Against the backdrop of the BJP breaking its political alliances in Maharashtra and Haryana in recent weeks, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Friday said that the Shiromani Akali Dal would remain an integral part of the BJP-led NDA.
Talking to media after an event in Ludhiana, 120 km from here, Badal said that the ties between the Shiromani Akali Dal, the BJP and the National Democratic Alliance were time-tested.
“The SAD-BJP alliance is everlasting and the two parties should not be seen as different from each other. The tried and tested alliance between both the parties is a unique phenomenon of the Indian democratic system, which has passed every litmus test in last few decades,” Badal said.
He was asked if there was a strain in the ties between the Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party. He added that the relationship between the two alliance partners was very strong, impeccable and cordial.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu recently criticised the Akali Dal for siding with the Indian National Lok Dal in the recent Haryana assembly polls and not going with the BJP.
The Akali Dal and BJP have been running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007.
“Badal, Sukhbir and other Akali leaders openly campaigned for the INLD in the elections. The Akali Dal sided with the INLD to oppose the BJP,” a senior Haryana BJP leader told IANS here.
The BJP was upset with the Badals and the Akali Dal for allying with the INLD in Haryana. Badal justified the move saying that he had personal ties with the INLD leadership.
While the BJP got a clear majority, 47 seats in the 90-member assembly, the INLD finished second with 19 seats. The Akali Dal won one seat.
BJP leader and former Amritsar MP cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had openly hit out at the Badals and the Akali Dal during the election campaign in Haryana.
Sidhu accused the Badals of “back-stabbing” the BJP in Haryana by tying up with the INLD.
Sidhu has no love lost for the Badals and the Akali Dal as he was eased out of the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency from where he was elected thrice (2004, 2007 by-poll and 2009), at the behest of the Badals in the Lok Sabha battle this year.
The BJP fielded senior leader Arun Jaitley, now the union finance and defence minister, but he lost by over one lakh votes to Congress leader and former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh.
An upset Sidhu did not campaign for Jaitley at all.