SAD's lone MLA from Kalanwali Balkaur Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Thursday, where he praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for providing an "honest" government to the state.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday lashed out at the BJP for inducting its lone sitting MLA in Haryana into its fold, saying what the saffron party has done is “unethical and unfortunate”. Badal said every relationship has a ‘maryada’ and inducting SAD’s sitting MLA in its fold violates the dignity of their alliance.
SAD’s lone MLA from Kalanwali Balkaur Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Thursday, where he praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for providing an “honest” government to the state. Badal said the alliance with the saffron party was intact in Punjab and Delhi and asserted that the SAD would contest the Haryana assembly polls alone.
“There is a ‘maryada’ (dignity) of relationship (alliance). What BJP has done, inducting our sitting MLA (into its own fold) is unethical and violated the maryada (dignity),” Sukhbir told reporters in Amritsar district. Replying to a question, he said “The SAD has decided to contest Haryana assembly polls alone. There is no problem in Punjab where we have an alliance with the BJP. Our alliance (with BJP) in Punjab and Delhi is intact.”
Asked if there would be any impact on the alliance with the BJP in Punjab and Delhi, Sukhbir said, “We did not have any alliance (with BJP) in Haryana earlier. But there was a commitment with us as we are their old ally. “What they have done is strongly condemnable especially with a party which has stood by it all the time. Doing such thing with that party is very unfortunate and our party strongly condemns it.”
On Thursday, the SAD had accused the BJP of backtracking from commitment of contesting Haryana assembly jointly while soliciting support for BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “When the time came for the BJP to reciprocate the SAD’s gesture, it backed out and even went to the extent of making an Akali MLA join the saffron party,” a SAD core committee member had said.
The SAD had formed the committee headed by party’s general secretary-in charge for Haryana, Balwinder Singh Bhunder and tasked it with holding negotiations with the BJP on the seat sharing issue for the Haryana polls. The SAD has been claiming to have sway in at least 30 out of total 90 assembly seats in Haryana and it was keen to fight the upcoming polls on several seats including Pehowa, Kaithal, Assandh, Kalanwali among others.
SAD has been fighting polls in alliance with BJP in Punjab and Delhi. SAD had earlier contested Haryana assembly polls in alliance with INLD. However, ties between SAD and INLD broke in 2017 on the Sutlej Yamuna link canal (SYL) issue.
Notably, BJP has set a target of winning 75 plus seats in the 90-member House. The state unit leaders of the BJP had earlier maintained that any decision on seat sharing with SAD would be taken by their senior leadership.