Published On: Wed, Nov 26th, 2014

BJP may end pact with Akalis in Delhi

Nov. 26th 2014

Riding high on the Modi wave, the BJP may consider parting ways with its old ally Shiromani Akali Dal in Delhi. Buoyed by the presence of Sikh faces in the party, including veteran Harsharan Singh Balli, the party may contest all Assembly seats on its own, but a final call on the matter will be taken by BJP’s central leadership.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the most acceptable face in the country. It is high time, the BJP should consider going to polls all alone,” said a senior Delhi BJP leader. The party firmly believes that having its own Sikh face will help it to connect better with the community and neutralise the AAP appeal.

“The decision over the alliance would be taken by the central leadership, the Delhi unit has no say over such decision making,” said party’s state unit general secretary Ramesh Bidhuri, who is also MP from South Delhi.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is now home to several Sikh leaders who are likely to be fielded in the upcoming Assembly polls. Prominent Sikh leader Jitendra Singh Shunty is seeking to contest from Shahdara, R.P. Singh from Rajendra Nagar, and Mr Balli, who quit the Congress to rejoin the BJP, is expected to contest from Hari Nagar.

Assembly Speaker M.S. Dhir, who recently quit the AAP to join the BJP, is seeking a ticket from Jungpura.

For the last Assembly polls, the saffron party had a pre-poll alliance with the SAD.

The BJP-SAD combine contested Rajouri Garden, Hari Nagar, Shahadra and Kalkaji seats. Of the four SAD candidates, three had contested on the BJP’s lotus symbol.

Similarly, the SAD (Badal) and the BJP had a similar seat-sharing arrangement in 2008 elections. The Akalis had contested four seats Rajouri Garden, Shahdara, Jangpura and Adarsh Nagar but lost all.

The Shiromani Akali Dal received a shot in the arm after its success in 2012 municipal elections, where six of its seven candidates were elected, and then in Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee elections in January, where its candidates won 37 of the 46 seats.

 By Charu Narula “The Asian Age”