In a first the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to contest from one of the four Sikh dominated constituencies in Delhi on its own. For the other three seats, the Akalis have joined hands with the BJP.
Rajouri Garden, the seat from where SAD is contesting on its own, has 70 per cent Punjabi population that needs a Punjabi party to understand its feelings, said Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD president, in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times on Sunday morning.
“This demand has come from the people themselves. We feel that the ruling party has hit our pride and sentiments on several occasions. Therefore, a state like Delhi with such a sizeable Punjabi population needs a Punjabi party,” Badal said claiming that out of 70 assembly seats in the upcoming polls, Punjabi votes would make a big difference in at least 25 seats.
The party has also released a joint manifesto with the BJP seeking inclusion of Punjabi as a second language of the state and demanding justice for the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
The junior Badal also said that the Akalis and BJP are the best possible combination for a state like Delhi.
Other than Rajouri Garden, SAD candidates are contesting from Adarsh Nagar, Shahdara and Jangpura constituencies.