BJP reduced to second fiddle in Punjab | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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BJP reduced to second fiddle in Punjab

Despite its best performance in the elections to the Punjab assembly in 2007, BJP appears to have been reduced to playing second fiddle in the state by its alliance partner SAD.

chandigarh Updated: Jan 21, 2009 08:47 IST

Despite its best performance in the elections to the Punjab assembly in 2007, BJP appears to have been reduced to playing second fiddle in the state by its alliance partner SAD which would be holding both the posts of chief minister and deputy chief minister.

The SAD would not only be holding the two top posts in the coalition government but for the first time the chief minister and his deputy would belong to the same family after the oath-taking of Sukhbir Badal as deputy to his father Parkash Singh Badal at Amritsar tomorrow afternoon.

But the Punjab unit of the saffron party has been forced to accept the position because its national leadership has given consent to Badal senior despite opposition and reservations expressed by the state unit.

BJP's Punjab unit voiced concerns over Badal Jr, the Faridkot MP, who represents the modern face of the SAD, occupying the number two post but were overruled by their central leadership.

State unit chief Rajinder Bhandari and other leaders, including ministers, camped in the national capital for a couple of days but they had to return empty handed.

A delegation of state BJP leaders also called on L K Advani and conveyed to him the party's concern over Badal's move, but their pleadings did not cut much ice with the high command.

BJP won a record 19 seats in the 117-member state assembly in the 2007 assembly elections. The SAD had won 49 seats, four more than rival Congress, and formed the government with the saffron party's support.