BJP To Go Solo In Punjab, Stage Set For 4-Way Fight For 13 Lok Sabha Seats

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The BJP has decided to go solo in Punjab after talks with Akali Dal did not work out


The BJP will go solo in the election for 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, state party chief Sunil Jakhar said in a video message today, putting an end to speculation on a possible tie-up between the BJP and its estranged ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

“The BJP will be contesting the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab alone. The party has taken this decision on the basis of feedback from the people, party workers and leaders,” Mr Jakhar said, stressing that the Narendra Modi government had worked tirelessly for Punjab and the work is not hidden from anyone.

While it is the BJP that has officially pulled the plug, the Akali Dal had dropped broad hints on its plan to go solo after a meeting of its core committee this Friday.

The key reason behind the two parties not joining hands appears to be a mismatch in their core ideological planks. The Akali Dal’s panthic agenda to reach out to Sikhs appears to clash with the BJP’s nationalist posturing. Also, unlike in 1996, when the Akali Dal joined hands with BJP for an alliance that lasted over two decades, the Sukhbir Singh Badal-led party set conditions for another tie-up.

The party resolution said that the Centre must honour its commitment to release all Sikh prisoners who had completed their terms and fulfil all promises made to farmers.

“The party will continue to put principles above politics, and it will never deviate from its historic role as a champion of the interests of Khalsa Panth, all minorities as well as all Punjabis,” the resolution said.

“As the sole representatives of the Sikhs and of all Punjabis, the party will continue its fight for more powers and genuine autonomy to the states,” it added.

Doubling down on its support to farmers protesting against the Centre, which had prompted Akali Dal to exit the NDA in 2020, the resolution said Akali Dal will continue to champion the cause of farmers and farm labourers. “SAD is the largest representative democratic organization of the farmers and has always been in the forefront of fighting for their interests,” it said.

It also opposed “any attempts to dilute, in letter or in spirit, the Constitution of India as framed by Babasaheb Bhim Rao Ambedkar”.

With BJP and the Akali Dal deciding to go solo, the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab is set to be a four-way fight. INDIA allies Congress and Aam Aadmi Party had earlier announced that they will contest alone in Punjab, where they are on opposite sides of the political aisle.

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