Political dynamics in Ludhiana set to change as SAD, BJP go separate ways

Normally sharing seats in the assembly constituencies of Ludhiana urban, SAD is now likely to field their candidates in Ludhiana West, North and Central constituencies. Conventionally these seats were reserved for BJP candidates on seat share basis.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing the media after the party’s core committee meet.(HT PHOTO)
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing the media after the party’s core committee meet.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 28, 2020 12:58 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana

The snapping of ties between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will change the political dynamics in Ludhiana. Normally sharing seats in the assembly constituencies of Ludhiana urban, SAD is now likely to field their candidates in Ludhiana West, North and Central constituencies.

Conventionally these seats were reserved for BJP candidates on seat share basis.

However, the saffron party had lost all three seats in the 2017 assembly elections. The SAD leaders had been eying these constituencies for long, wishing to field their own candidates.

During the 2017 elections, some SAD leaders had even deserted the party to fight as independents.

Madan Lal Bagga, once a prominent leader in the party, had snapped ties with the Akalis and fought the elections from Ludhiana North in 2017. However, he lost the elections. In a twofold blow to the SAD, the then BJP candidate Parveen Bansal had also suffered a defeat.

May lead to vote splitting

Political experts believe that the breaking of alliance between the two parties will also divide the dedicated vote bank and increase the possibility of a multi-cornered contest with Congress, SAD, BJP, Aam Aadmi Party and Lok Insaaf Party fielding their respective candidates.

SAD senior spokesperson and former cabinet minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal said, “Not just in Ludhiana, we will fight alone across all constituencies in the state. Our workers are enthusiastic and filled with renewed energy.”

He added, “SAD has a legacy of making sacrifices in the interest and welfare of the people of Punjab. We will not let an inch of land fall in the hands of corporates. First our leader Harsimrat Kaur Badal did not hesitate to resign to register her protest against the farm bill and then the party decided to snap ties with the BJP. Our workers and leaders were feeling suffocated in this alliance as the BJP is turning communal and pro-corporate in nature. Our decision of pulling out from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will have far-reaching repercussions on BJP.”

While addressing party workers at a gurdwara in Alamgir Sahib on Saturday morning, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal had hinted that he would analyse the performance of party workers in each assembly constituency and accordingly allot the tickets.

On the other hand, Dakha MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, said, “I am thankful to the SAD high command for snapping ties with the BJP. The saffron brigade was trying to destroy the farmers but we will not let this happen.”

BJP’s state vice-president Parveen Bansal reiterated that it was the 23-year-old alliance between the SAD and the BJP that had taken Punjab on the path of development. “The alliance worked as a strong bridge between the communities divided by the dark days of militancy. However, it is the SAD that decided to part ways from us after praising the bills as pro-farmer. Let me reiterate, we have not touched the old system of procurement. We have just provided another option to the farmers to sell their produce. Our decision is being projected as harsh to cash on the farm vote bank but it is going to help the farmers in the long run and the BJP will emerge victorious in 2020,” said Bansal.

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