Senior BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader Balramji Dass Tandon on Sunday questioned Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's going to Prime Minister Narendra Modi with state-specific issues without taking the coalition partner on board.
Tandon is chairman of the state BJP committee that will analyse why the alliance underperformed in Punjab in the latest parliamentary elections. On Friday, Badal had met union home minister Rajnath Singh and environment and forests minister Prakash Javadekar; and then deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and he had given a long charter of demands to the PM. They sought transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab and the following of the riparian principle for the use of Punjab's river waters.
"Since the BJP is partner in their ruling alliance in Punjab, it's surprising that neither Badal nor Sukhbir deemed it fit to take the state BJP ministers along to the central ministers last week," said Tandon, adding that Badal should have first convened a meeting of both parties and listed the issues.
"The results of the parliamentary elections don't permit the SAD to tread alone," said Tandon, adding: "In spite of the Modi wave, our alliance could win only six of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. The rise of the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab has rung alarm bells. The anti-incumbency factor hurt us."
The BJP was not with the SAD on the riparian principle for the division of river waters, said Tandon. The party is for the inter-linking of rivers. "We are with the SAD on the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab but the issues have impact only when raised together," the leader added.