BJP’s oldest alliance partner, Akali Dal walked out of the NDA following a core meeting of the party of Saturday night. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal has said the party’s decision was the result of the Centre’s inability to pay heed to demands over the new agriculture-related laws.
During the passage of these laws in Lok Sabha, Harsimrat Kaur Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal had resigned from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in protest. On Sunday, President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bills passed in both houses of Parliament.
Ashwani Sharma, the BJP’s Punjab unit chief termed the Akalis decision of pulling out of the NDA as “unfortunate”. While stating that the move was prompted by “political compulsions”, Sharma claimed the reasons furnished by the SAD were “very surprising”.
The reasons BJP’s Ashwani Sharma referred to are the Centre’s decision not to reconsider the farm laws and the non-inclusion of Punjabi in the Jammu and Kashmir Official Languages Bill.
“SAD is a political party and they chose another line. Surely felt sad as they were the oldest ally,” Ashwani Sharma told reporters in Chandigarh on Sunday.
The BJP’s Punjab unit also countered Akali Dal’s claim that PM Modi’s party is not pro-farmer by citing the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sammann Nidhi scheme which guarantees Rs 6,000 as financial aid to farming families. The Kisam Bima and Fasal Bima scheme were also mentioned to show for the BJP’s work.
Ashwani Sharma further declared that the BJP is capable of fighting and winning the 2022 Punjab assembly elections all by itself.
Earlier, the Akalis contested on 94 of the state’s 117 assembly seats while the BJP fielded candidates on the remaining 23. Similarly, the BJP fielded three and the Akali Dal 10 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab.
Former MP, MoS Vijay Sampla said in a tweet that this decision will never be fruitful for the Akalis, who he claims are already facing internal strife. Sampla has also served as the chief of the BJP’s Punjab unit.
— Vijay Sampla (@vijaysamplabjp) September 27, 2020
BJP leader Manoranjan Kalia said former Punjab CM and Akali Dal patron Parkash Singh Badal had made a statement in favour of the Cente’s farm bills. “But after that, they took a U-turn,” Kalia added.
“The BJP will win the 2022 Punjab assembly polls. Our workers and cadre are ready at 117 constituencies,” said BJP leader Master Mohan Lal.
(With inputs from PTI)