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Akali Dal, BJP to contest Punjab civic polls jointly 

Chandigarh, Nov 27 (IANS) Despite the recent barbs of their leaders against one another, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will jointly contest the forthcoming civic elections in Punjab, party officials said here Thursday.

This was decided at a meeting of senior leaders of both the parties here Wednesday night.

Akali Dal general secretary Harcharan Bains said both parties decided to jointly contest the elections “as per the existing arrangement”.

“Both parties also decided to set up district level coordination committees for any local adjustments and for streamlining the election campaign process,” Bains said.

In a reference to the recent reports of differences between them, both the parties in a joint resolution said they would give “a befitting response to the mischievous, baseless and motivated propaganda misinformation campaign”.

The meeting blamed the “disinformation campaign” on “the frustrated, rejected and rootless Congress party”.

The meeting was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, Punjab BJP president Kamal Sharma and other senior leaders from both sides.

The Akali Dal and the BJP have been running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007. Differences have been reported between both parties in recent months over certain issues.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu had openly criticised the Badals and the Akali Dal, forcing the Akali Dal to take up the issue with the BJP and asking it to “tame” Sidhu.

Union Minister for Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence Arun Jaitley during a BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal  joint meeting in Amritsar on Aug 18, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

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