The Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) core committee on Friday decided to revive its time-tested Panthic agenda and not engage with aggressive BJP leaders on thorny issues publicly, besides contesting the MC polls in alliance with the saffron party.
Convened to discuss preparations for the municipal corporation elections in Punjab, the three-hour committee meeting chaired by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal resolved to be prepared to face the BJP challenge but not to get provoked. It also decided to give a fillip to the Panthic agenda with the active involvement of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
Party sources said leaders pointed out the need for re-focusing on the Panthic agenda, saying that a perception was building within the SAD that there had been gradual erosion in the Sikh vote bank and that the alliance with the BJP had further diluted this. The SAD sources said the tension with the BJP had made it necessary for the Akali Dal to consolidate its position without banking on the BJP and by banking on Panthic policies. However, sources said Badal advised them not to get engaged in a war of words with the BJP leaders. “Instead, if needed, the SAD leadership will take up the matter with central BJP leaders,” a SAD leader said.
Meanwhile, in a press statement, the SAD said its core committee met to discuss details for January’s civic elections.
Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal spelt out the outlines of the poll strategy for the SAD-BJP alliance partners.
“The one-point agenda for the meeting focused on the likely issues on which to go to people.
Detailed district-wise reports were studied about the development and other achievements of the government,” according to party general secretary (media and publicity) Harcharan Bains.
The SAD will announce its list of observers for different zones on Saturday.