BJP reaches out to former ally SAD for support in Presidential elections

Updated on Jul 01, 2022 01:52 AM IST
BJP national president JP Nadda is said to have spoken to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who, according to sources, replied that the party will take a call on the matter after consulting the senior leadership.
BJP state president Ashwini Sharma said his party has constituted a committee, under Union minister Rajnath Singh, to reach out to all parties, including the Congress, to seek support for the candidature of former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu. (HT File)
BJP state president Ashwini Sharma said his party has constituted a committee, under Union minister Rajnath Singh, to reach out to all parties, including the Congress, to seek support for the candidature of former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu. (HT File)
By, Chandigarh

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday reached out to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), its former ally, to seek support for the upcoming Presidential polls scheduled on July 18.

BJP national president JP Nadda is said to have spoken to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who, according to sources, replied that the party will take a call on the matter after consulting the senior leadership.

Though Sukhbir could not be reached for comments, the party’s second-in-command and general secretary Balwinder Singh Bhunder confirmed that telephonic conversation had taken place between the two leaders. He, however, refused to comment on the party’s decision.

Bhunder said there is a lot of time for the polls and the party will take a call later. The SAD’s core committee is set to meet on Friday to take a decision on this.

BJP state president Ashwini Sharma, meanwhile, claimed he is not aware of the development. He, however, said his party has constituted a committee, under Union minister Rajnath Singh, to reach out to all parties, including the Congress, to seek support for the candidature of former Jharkhand governor Droupadi Murmu.

Sharma added that SAD is also a party in opposition to BJP as they have contested the state polls of February 20 and recently the Sangrur polls of June 23 against each other.

The parties had remained close allies for more than two decades and had formed governments in Punjab thrice through pre-poll alliance– in 1997, 2007 and 2012. SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal used to term the alliance as undetachable as “flesh and nail”.

SAD severed ties with the BJP in 2020 after the Narendra Modi-led central government passed the (now repealed) three farm laws, which the Akali Dal had earlier supported. When the resentment against Akali Dal swelled, it decided to cut ties with the BJP and the party’s lone representative in the Union cabinet Harsimrat Kaur Badal also quit. Almost two years have passed but the void between the two parties has only widened as they have started exploring the political space in the state without each other’s support.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Gurpreet Singh Nibber is an Assistant Editor with the Punjab bureau. He covers politics, agriculture, power sector, environment, Sikh religious affairs and the Punjabi diaspora.

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