Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of Punjab's ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, on Sunday reiterated his party's commitment to continue with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which according to him was all set to form the next government at the Centre. He ruled out speculations of his party joining any third front.

Mr Badal who is also the State's Deputy Chief Minister, sought to clarify all speculations about his meeting with the Samajwadi Party chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav, in Delhi recently. He said that his family has old relations with the families of Mr. Yadav as well as Mr O.P. Chautala who heads the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). He emphasised that nothing political should be attributed to his meeting with Mr Yadav, as they used social occasions "to exchange notes".

Mr Badal made the clarifications while talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function to mark the death anniversary of veteran CPI (M) leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet at Bundala, the latter's native village in Jalandhar district.

Arguing that the days of the present government at the Centre were limited, Mr Badal said that the people had decided to remove the country's most corrupt government and bring back NDA to the helm. Mr. Badal said that there was no scope of setting up a third front. He added that the Akali Dal shared various concerns and positions adopted by the different constituents of the NDA. The party was opposed to FDI as the Congress had forced the decision on the nation just to help a few multi-national companies at the cost of the poor in India.