HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Akalis under fire as ally BJP vents anger over Punjab results

HT Correspondents, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 25, 2014
First Published: 08:27 IST(25/5/2014) | Last Updated: 08:30 IST(25/5/2014)

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) faced attacks — direct and indirect — from its ally BJP on Saturday over the relatively bad performance of the coalition in the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab.

On the drug racket controversy seen as a primary poll issue, state BJP chief Kamal Sharma termed SAD minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur’s resignation as a welcome “first step”.

Asked by HT about demands of resignations of another Akali minister, Bikram Singh Majithia, he said, “All those named need to come clean.”

BJP veteran Balramji Dass Tandon was aggressive and took particular note of the AAP winning four seats in Punjab, attributing it to a “volcano of anti-incumbency”.

Amritsar East MLA Dr Navjot Kaur Sidhu again blamed the Akalis for the humiliating defeat of senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley, who had replaced her husband, three-time MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, as the candidate.

“Many in the BJP are unhappy with the Akali Dal, but it’s just that they don’t speak up while I do,” she said.

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