The coalition partners in the Punjab government, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), on Friday, worked out a temporary truce, after which the ministers of the saffron party attended the cabinet meeting.
The four cabinet ministers from the party, Chunni Lal Bhagat, Anil Joshi, Surjit Kumar Jyani and Madan Mohan Mittal, besides state unit president Kamal Sharma, national secretary Tarun Chugh, general secretary Ajay Jamwal and former minister Tikhsan Sud attended the meeting.
Had the BJP ministers abstained from the meeting, relations between the two partners, already passing through a rough phase, would have touched a new low. The cabinet meeting was important because it approved the excise policy for 2015-16. After the meeting, the BJP leaders said all was with the alliance and SAD leaders were like their brothers. They also claimed that they would support the strategy adopted by SAD to deal with the privilege motion the Congress has announced it will bring in the Vidhan Sabha next week.
“Things seem fine now, but let us see how they shape up in the future and we would work out our strategy accordingly,” said a BJP leader hinting at a temporary patch-up.
BJP MLAs had abstained from a joint meeting with SAD, on Thursday, after which Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal had called the BJP ministers and the state leaders for a meeting.
At the meeting, Joshi reportedly claimed that his brother Raja had a narrow escape when Akali workers fired at him in Tarn Taran before the civic body polls. He alleged that the government had not taken stern action against the attackers.
To this, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal reportedly retorted by saying that he was not ‘personally’ responsible for everything that went against Joshi.
Interestingly, chief minister Badal is reported to have played the peacemaker, asking Sukhbir and Joshi to hug each other. Later, Chugh said Badal had assured Joshi that justice would be done. “They (Badals) they have nothing to do with the incident. The CM pulled up the police and issuing directions for action against the attackers on Raja,” Chugh said. email@example.com