Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Daljit Singh Cheema (File photo/ANI)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Daljit Singh Cheema (File photo/ANI)

Two oldest allies, BJP and SAD to contest Assembly polls against each other in Haryana

Pragya Kaushika | Updated: Sep 26, 2019 22:46 IST

By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], Sept 26 (ANI): Two of the oldest allies of the National Democratic Alliance, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will contest the forthcoming Haryana Assembly polls against each other.
Talks on a possible alliance between the two allies, who are part of a coalition in the Narendra Modi government at Centre, have fallen as both have decided to go their own way.
Confirming the decision to contest election alone and not in alliance with BJP, SAD leader Daljit Singh Cheema informed ANI, "SAD to contest elections in Haryana on its own."
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, national spokesperson, Akali Dal too confirmed that Akali will contest elections on its own. The clarity came after sitting SAD lone Kalanwali MLA Balkaur Singh joined BJP earlier in the day.
The SAD core committee condemned the BJP for using political muscle power to make Balkaur Singh join the saffron party and said that this act was against the principle of coalition 'dharma'.
"The core committee noted that the BJP had not only betrayed the SAD but also backtracked from the commitments it had made vis a vis the Haryana assembly elections. Viewing the decision to co-opt Akali MLA Balkaur Singh into the BJP as an "undesirable" act not expected from an old ally," it said.
"The SAD has always stood through thick and thin with the BJP in the national interest. It is condemnable that the BJP has chosen to ignore the steadfast support of the SAD and decided to induct an Akali MLA into its fold", " read the statement issued by SAD.
The Akalis said they trusted Khattar as he had in a press confrence committed to the alliance when the state was going for Lok Sabha polls.
Sources stated that the alliance could not be stitched as BJP has decided against allowing seats to its ally SAD as it wants to contest on all seats. It is learnt that the SAD was demanding up to five for itself in the forthcoming contest.
ANI was first to report that there is uncertainty over the talks of the alliance.
A senior BJP leader in Haryana said that BJP has repeatedly maintained that it can get a majority on its own.
"This feeling that BJP can win on its own has ensured that the party should go alone in the state. Though it was felt that the Akalis do enjoy an influence on about half a dozen seats bordering Punjab and areas where the Sikh population is high," sources added.
In 2014 Assembly polls, BJP and SAD had decided to go in for contest separately following which, the latter had chosen to support Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD)
The Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on October 21 and results will be announced on 24. (ANI)