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BJP to go solo in Lok Sabha polls in Punjab, no alliance with SAD

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Chandigarh: The BJP on Tuesday announced that it will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on its own in Punjab, indicating an end to the negotiations for the revival of its alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

With the BJP deciding to go solo, the border state will see a four-cornered contest in the general elections.

Polling for the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab will be held on June 1, the last phase of the seven-phase elections.

“The BJP is going to contest the Lok Sabha elections alone,” Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar said in a video message posted on X.

This decision was taken based on the feedback of people, party workers and leaders. The decision has been taken for the future of Punjab and the betterment of the youth, farmers, traders, labourers and the downtrodden, he said.

He exuded confidence that the people of Punjab will further strengthen the BJP by voting for it in large numbers on June 1.

The development comes almost a week after senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, when asked about the possibility of a tie-up with the SAD, had said, “Negotiations are on. We want all NDA parties to come together.” SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, however, had remained evasive on the issue of talks with the BJP.

The SAD had walked out of the BJP-led NDA in September 2020 over the now-repealed farm laws.

The two parties had formed an alliance in 1996 and had been fighting elections together. In 2019, they won two Lok Sabha seats each in Punjab.

Jakhar further said, “The work done by the BJP for Punjab under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not hidden from anyone.” Each grain of farmers’ crops was procured at minimum support price in the last 10 years and farmers received payments in their bank accounts within a week, he claimed.

The Kartarpur corridor, which people had been demanding for a long time to visit the Kartarpur gurdwara, was opened during the BJP government’s tenure.

The Kartarpur corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district.

The BJP was said to be demanding five to six of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab but the Akalis did not agree.

In an indication that it might go solo in the Lok Sabha polls, the SAD had passed a resolution at its core committee meeting on Friday saying it would “continue to put principles above politics”.

The resolution had urged the Centre to honour its “categorical written commitment” for the release of ‘Bandi Singhs’ (Sikh prisoners) who had completed their terms.

It had also said that the SAD would continue to champion the cause of farmers and farm labourers and that all promises made to them must be fulfilled. (PTI)

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