SAD-NDA: Farm bill was final nail in the coffin. Here’s a look at other reasons for split
There is a long history behind the decision by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) to sever ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
According to Hindustan Times’ sister publication Hindustan, SAD was upset over being ignored by the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre. There are close to half a dozen instances where SAD didn't get the expected sport from its long-time ally.
The most recent one was the move by the Centre to make Kashmiri, Dogri and Hindi the official languages of Jammu and Kashmir. SAD wanted Punjabi to be included in the list, since there is a substantial chunk of Punjabi speaking people in the region. The party’s chief Sukhbir Singh Badal even wrote a letter to Prime Minister Minister Narendra Modi, but the the request was not taken into account, said Hindustan.
SAD leader and Rajya Sabha MP Naresh Gujral told Hindustan that it was not a big issue, and logical too, but the party’s request was ignored.
Similarly, the Lok Sabha passed the interstate river water dispute (Amendment) bill despite SAD being opposed to it. The bill seeks to resolve river water disputes within a stipulated time period. SAD feels it that the water meant for Punjab can go to other states. However, the bill has to still receive Rajya Sabha nod.
Another reason for the split, according to Hindustan, is lone SAD lawmaker in Haryana Balkaur Singh joining the BJP. The party blames the BJP for it, and feels the rules of the alliance were broken.
There were differences between the two during last year’s Lok Sabha elections also. SAD wanted to contest on Amritsar and Hoshiarpur seats, but the BJP didn’t agree to it. The SAD has also complained that the Centre never took advice from party patron Parkash Singh Badal, who it says is the tallest farmer leader.
The leaders in SAD have also said that though they were the oldest constituent of the NDA, they were never consulted on important issues in the last few years. The SAD also said that NDA parties meet before a Parliament session, but those meetings are strictly about the agenda of the session, according to Hindustan.