After addressing poll rallies in favour of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) candidate from Hisar Dushyant Chautala, the top leadership of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) of Punjab is geared up to canvass for other candidates of the party.
On Wednesday, Badals would address rallies in the Sikh dominated areas of Karnal and Kurukshetra parliamentary segments. While Parkash Singh Badal would campaign for INLD’s Jaswinder Singh Sandhu, Sukhbir will address people at Pehowa in Kurukshetra for the party’s candidate Balbir Saini.
Senior Badal is scheduled to address gatherings at Sirsa, Pipli and Jagadhri on April 8, two days before Haryana goes to the polls.
There is resentment among the BJP-HJC leaders over Badals canvassing for INLD candidates, but the first family of Punjab is firm on keeping the family ties ahead of coalition dharma.
In Haryana, the BJP and the INLD remained political allies in the past but this time the BJP has a tied up with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) and its chief Kuldeep Bishnoi has been named as the chief ministerial candidate.
Following conviction of the INLD leaders, former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his legislator son Ajay Chautala— who are serving jail terms at New Delhi in teacher recruitment scandal, the BJP avoided aligning with the INLD.
At a function held at Kurukshetra in November last year, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had openly urged the top BJP leaders to “hold hand of INLD”.
As Badal failed in his mission, SAD leadership announced to support the Chautala family.
Punjab’s deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had even attended the nomination filing function of Dushyant Chautala, elder son of Ajay Chautala. Now, the Badal family has decided to better the prospects of other INLD candidates as well.
Political analysts point out that Badals ties with Chautalas are old, and the Akalis never had cordial relations with the Bishnoi family. “In 1982, the then chief minister of Haryana Bhajan Lal had acted tough against the Sikh hardliner protesters from Punjab who had planned to disrupt Asiad Games in New Delhi. It had invited a sharp reaction from the Akalis,” said an observer.