A day after listing partner BJP’s “weak” performance in urban areas among reasons for loss in the Punjab assembly elections, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday sought to roll back her statement, which was recorded on a video that calls her bluff. Her effort to wriggle out came after the BJP’s strong reaction to her statement led to embarrassment for the SAD and her.
The video of her talking to party workers in Mansa — online on HT Punjab website at www.read.ht/BUcF — showed her stating that “Naraazgi ho jandi hai das saalan ch (There is resentment after 10 years)… Chalo jede shehran toh apne ghate… sehyogi party di jo bhumika ho sakdi si ohni mazboot nahi see gi… othe vi jedi kamzoriyan rahi (We lost out in urban areas... the ally party did not have as strong a role as it should have... there too we have weaknesses)”.
In her press statement on Wednesday, the Union minister and Bathinda MP said, “The SAD-BJP alliance contested the elections and both parties believe in collective responsibility for whatever mandate the Punjabis have given.” And added that she was “grossly misquoted in a section of the press on the share of BJP in the defeat”.
“What I said was that the alliance did not do too well in both urban and rural areas and that in urban areas the BJP had a better influence. We fully share blame and credit in our results. It is an alliance based on mutual trust and it represents the social and communal harmony in Punjab.”
The SAD got 15 seats out of the 94 it contested while the BJP won three of its 23 in the 117-member House. The Congress is in the saddle with 77 seats, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) the principal opposition with 20 seats plus two seats of its ally Lok Insaf Party (LIP).