Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has put its key ally BJP in a tight spot in Haryana by throwing its weight behind candidates of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), who are contesting on all the ten Lok Sabha seats in the state.
With efforts by SAD patron and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for a pre-poll alliance of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with INLD proving futile, the Om Parkash Chautala-led INLD decided to go alone in the Lok Sabha polls.
Haryana is going to polls on April 10.
SAD has an old alliance with the BJP in Punjab, but the position of the party is different in neighbouring Haryana, where the BJP has tied up with Kuldeep Bishnoi's Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC). As per the seat sharing formula, the BJP has fielded its candidates on eight seats, leaving Hisar and Sirsa (reserved) for HJC.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal's move to mark his presence when INLD's Dushyant Singh filed his nomination papers from Hisar annoyed Bishnoi, who shot off a complaint to the BJP. Dushyant is son of INLD leader Ajay Singh and grandson of INLD chief Om Parkash Chautala.
The family ties between Badals and Chautalas is an open secret in political circles. Both the families have supported each other at the hustings.
"Now, Sukhbir will canvass for INLD candidates from Karnal, Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sirsa and Faridabad," party sources said adding that his father and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal too will campaign in Haryana.
The Badal's move to canvass for INLD will embarrass BJP, said a section of leaders of the saffron party, while maintaining anonymity.
A CBI court in January last year sentenced former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala to ten years rigorous imprisonment for illegal selection of over 3,000 junior basic trained (JBT) primary school teachers in 1999-2000. Owing to the taint, the BJP top brass decided against going with the INLD in Haryana.