CHANDIGARH: A fortnight before the vote count begins, there are indications that erstwhile alliance partners in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP, are getting closer for a post-poll alliance to form a coalition government, if the numbers allow.
The two were allies for more than 20 years before parting ways in 2020 over farm laws.
Sources in both the parties said that there was a strong likelihood that if SAD gets a respectable number of seats and the BJP hits double digits, then both might again come together to form a collation government.
“We heard reports that for swing votes in some constituencies, an understanding between these parties already existed,’’ said a leader on the condition of anonymity.
A senior state BJP leader hinted as much, saying the conjectured coming together could mean keeping the “divisive forces” at bay.
Replying to a query on why the BJP, which broke off with SAD to be able to stand on its two feet, would again piggyback on the old ally, he pointed out that the two sides had to weigh various pre and post poll alliance scenarios.
A senior SAD leader said the prospective alliance could have some value if the two sides have enough numbers.
“We opposed the farm laws and walked out of the more than two-decade-old alliance. We have to take into account the fact that these laws no longer exist and the farmers’ stir is over,’’ he said.
Sources said that a sign of breakthrough over sewing up the old alliance came when the saffron party’s top leadership met Sikh religious leaders.
Home Minister Amit Shah had also met Akal Takht Jathedar Harpreet Singh and also Radha Soami Satsang Beas chief Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon. A few days ago, PM Modi had met Dhillon in Delhi.
On record BJP national general secretary Tarun Chug expressed confidence that his party would form the government.
“Let the results come, we’ll take the final call.’’ Ditto with SAD whose spokesperson Dr Daljeet Singh Cheema predicted SAD-BSP victory.