SAD leaders looking for alliance in Hry meet BJP rebel Saini
CHANDIGARH: In view of the Haryana assembly elections due in October this year, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has started weighing its political strength and looking at alliance options in the state.
On Sunday, SAD’s Manjinder Singh Sirsa and NK Sharma, who are part of a three-member committee constituted by Sukhbir Singh Badal, held an informal meeting with Loktantra Suraksha Party chief Raj Kumar Saini, a rebel Bharatiya Janata Party MP who floated his own political outfit. SAD leaders, on the condition of anonymity, said the party will also hold talks with other parties such as BJP and Jannayak Janata party (JJP), the newly floated political outfit by INLD MP Dushyant Chautala.
Earlier, the Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) had also announced its support to LSP.
Following Sunday’s meeting, SAD and LSP leaders decided to hold a meeting in Delhi, in which a BSP representative will also be called.
The SAD’s move is being seen as an attempt to outsmart the BJP, which it alleges has been interfering in Sikh matters.
Confirming the meeting, Saini said discussions were at a nascent stage but was all praise for the SAD. Calling the Akali Dal a strong political option, the LSP chief said, “The SAD was used by the INLD led by Chautalas for a long time. The Akalis could make a strong impact in the assembly seats bordering Punjab. Let us see how things develop in days to come.”
SAD’s think tank feels the party could make a formidable impact on 18 assembly constituencies in Haryana.
“In 18 seats, there is a 20,000plus strong Sikh population and in 11 constituencies, the vote count of Sikhs is around 90,000. We can make an impact in Dabwali, Ratia, Rania, Elenabad, Tohana, Pehowa, Ass and, Pundri, Ya mun an agar, Na rain ga rh and Kalianwali,” Sirsa told HT.
The old political coalition between the Badals in Punjab and the Chautalas in Haryana came to an end in December 2017. In the past, SAD used to contest all elections in Haryana in alliance with the INLD, despite an alliance with BJP in Punjab.