Akali Dal to go it alone in Haryana polls, contest ‘maximum’ seats


The party claims to have influence in over 30 Assembly constituencies

With the Shiromani Akali Dal deciding to fight the Haryana Assembly poll on its own after its sole MLA in the State joined the BJP, senior SAD leader Balwinder Singh Bhundar on Friday said the party would contest “maximum number of seats in the State”.

“We will try to fight on maximum number of seats during the upcoming Haryana Assembly poll,” Mr. Bhundar said.

He said the party was in touch with the minority community, farmers and labourers and will contest polls with their support.

Keen on alliance

The party is claiming to have its influence in over at least 30 seats in Haryana. It was keen to forge an alliance with the BJP and fight on several seats including Pehowa, Kaithal, Assandh and Kalanwali. The Akali Dal had formed a committee headed by party’s general secretary-in charge for Haryana Balwinder Singh Bhundar and had tasked it with holding negotiations with the BJP on sharing seats.

Mr. Bhundar said the BJP leaders, while soliciting support for party candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, had given a commitment to contest Haryana Assembly poll jointly. “We were in talks with top BJP leadership... but then this thing happened (SAD MLA joining BJP),” he said.

SAD’s lone MLA from Kalanwali Balkaur Singh had joined the BJP in New Delhi on Thursday and praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for providing an “honest” government in the State.

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday in Amritsar lashed out at the BJP over the issue and said what the BJP has done is “unethical and unfortunate”.

Dignity of relationship

“There is a maryada (dignity) of relationship (alliance). What BJP has done by inducting our sitting MLA (into its own fold) is unethical and violated the maryada,” he said.

Mr. Badal, however, said the alliance with the BJP in Punjab and Delhi was intact.

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Printable version | Jan 30, 2020 2:50:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/akali-dal-to-go-it-alone-in-haryana-polls-contest-maximum-seats/article29535142.ece

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