The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) have hammered out a seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Delhi assembly elections slated for December 4.
Delhi SAD (Badal) president Manjit Singh GK said the BJP had agreed to let the Sikh party contest on four seats — Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden in west Delhi, Kalkaji in south Delhi and Shahdara in east Delhi. Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden are considered as Sikh-dominated areas.
“The BJP has left the decision on us on whether we would like to contest with the BJP symbol or with our own symbol. We will take a call in 2-3 days,” Singh said.
The Sikh party, BJP’s political ally for several years now, had earlier refused to join hands with the BJP in Delhi after the latter refused to give it the seats of its choice.
Finally, the ice was broken at a high-level meeting attended by BJP president Rajnath Singh and senior party leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani, Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.
The SAD (B) and the BJP had a similar seat-sharing arrangement in 2008 elections. The Sikh party contested on four seats — Rajouri Garden, Shahdara, Jangpura and Adarsh Nagar — but lost all. There are 70 seats in the Delhi assembly.
The SAD (B) received a shot in the arm after its success in 2012 municipal elections, where six of its seven candidates were elected, and then in Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee elections in January this year, where its candidates won 37 of the 46 seats.
Buoyed, it insisted on fielding its own candidates from Tilak Nagar, Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden – three Sikh-dominated seats in west Delhi - and also showed interest in contesting on its own party symbol – a weighing scale — in the assembly polls.
The BJP, however, was reluctant to give away Tilak Nagar and Hari Nagar — two of its strongholds. Finally, it had to let go of Hari Nagar.