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BJP-SAD alliance on thin ice over sharing of seats

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Badal) electoral alliance in Delhi seems to be on a shaky ground. Atul Mathur reports.

delhi Updated: Mar 15, 2012 01:44 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
news,hindustan times,SAD

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD-Badal) electoral alliance in Delhi seems to be on a shaky ground.

Recent meetings between the two parties — which have been fighting elections together in both Punjab and Delhi — on the issue of seat sharing for the upcoming municipal polls have so far ended inconclusively.

Sources said the state leadership of both parties has been adamant on their own formula of seat sharing. Senior state leaders of the two parties will meet again on Thursday.

While the SAD (Badal) is demanding 16 of 272 municipal seats in Delhi, sources said the BJP is not willing to give more than eight to ten seats to the Sikh party.

In 2007, the SAD (Badal) had contested elections on 10 seats while another Sikh party, Shiromani Akali Dal (Panthic), had fielded its candidates on three seats.

SAD (Panthic) has merged with SAD (Badal) and another Sikh councillor, Jitender Singh Shunty, who had contested 2007 elections as an independent has joined SAD (Badal) too.

“Besides those 14 seats combined, the Akali Dal is also asking for two more seats —Greater Kailash and Lajpat Nagar — that the BJP is unwilling to give. Some of the seats on which the Akali Dal candidates had contested elections the last time, have now been reserved for women. The SAD (Badal) is demanding unreserved seats in lieu of those seats,” said a senior BJP leader.

While senior BJP and SAD (Badal) leaders maintained that the two parties shared a historical alliance and differences would be sorted out, sources in SAD (Badal) said the party was all prepared to go all alone, if BJP did not concede to its demands.

BJP sources, on the other hand, said the Akali Dal (Badal) candidates did not perform well in 2008 assembly elections in Delhi and the party wanted to review the seat sharing formula to win as many seats as possible in these polls.

"In the recent Punjab elections, our party gave those seats to the BJP on which its candidates had contested the last time. We too expect a similar treatment in Delhi," said Manjeet Singh, president, Delhi, SAD (Badal).

First Published: Mar 15, 2012 01:10 IST