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Punjab party eyes Delhi Assembly

india Updated: Oct 08, 2008 00:24 IST
Prabhjit Singh

In an effort to make a mark in the Delhi Assembly, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has submitted a list of 15 constituencies to its ally –– the BJP –– where it wants to contest the forthcoming state elections on the party symbol.

SAD’s Delhi unit leadership led by its president Manjit Singh GK met BJP leaders on Monday. The team handed over the list, with the message that SAD had decided to contest the assembly elections on the party symbol, especially in the west Delhi area, Manjit Singh GK told the Hindustan Times.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had organised a massive rally in Delhi on August 2 where he announced the party would now spread its wings out of Punjab and would contest the Delhi elections on the party symbol, unlike the previous polls when the BJP had been obliging the Akalis with three or four tickets on the BJP symbol.

“We have conveyed our decision to the BJP, to contest in at least two constituencies, Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden, that have 38 per cent and 37 per cent Sikh vote bank,” said SAD Delhi unit general secretary Onkar Singh Thapar.

Manjit Singh GK said he had also handed over the list of 15 prospective Akali candidates along with the names of the constituencies from where the party wanted to contest.

When contacted, senior BJP leader Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra, who is part of the BJP committee for the distribution of party tickets, told HT he was hopeful that both allies would come to a consensus on the issue of the SAD’s desire to contest on party symbol this time.

Hopeful of the BJP sparing at least these two seats, Thapar pointed out the Congress has been fielding Sikh candidates in the west Delhi, especially from Vishnu Garden, that has now been merged with the Rajouri Garden constituency after the delimitation. The Akali leadership in Delhi also brought to the notice of the BJP that the 1984 riot victims’ Tilak Vihar locality has now been attached to the Tilak Nagar constituency and this has boosted victory chances of the SAD candidate.