Ahead of Punjab elections, the BJP is in talks with former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, its former ally Shiromani Akali Dal and breakaway Akali factions like Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa for the assembly elections. This was informed by Union Home Minister Amit Shah who said that an alliance may come up ahead of the Punjab assembly polls.
While Amarinder Singh had floated his party after parting ways with the Congress, he had expressed his desire to ally with the BJP on the condition of a suitable resolution to farmers’ protest. Now, with PM Narendra Modi himself leading from the front in repealing the farm laws, the roadblock between Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and the BJP is all clear. On the other hand, is Shiromani Akali Dal which had deserted the NDA against the three-agri laws. When asked about rejoining the NDA after withdrawal of the farm laws, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had refuted the chances of any re-alliance.
Speaking during an interview with the Hindustan Times, Shah said that elections in Punjab will be fought on merits. He said that the BJP is talking to Captain as well as to Dhindsa for an alliance. “As far as the farmers’ protests are concerned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, showing a big heart to end the protests and saying, fine if you think the farm laws are not in your benefit, took them back….Elections in Punjab will be fought on merits,” he said.
In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, when the SAD and the BJP had contested together against the Congress, Amarinder Singh had led the grand old party to a thumping majority in the 117 seat assembly. Then debutant AAP had emerged as the principal opposition party by bagging 20 seats. However, since then, many AAP MLAs had switched over to the ruling Congress.