BJP, SAD rule out re-alliance for 2024 Lok Sabha polls

Vijay Rupani, BJP in charge for Punjab, said his party would fight the parliamentary elections on its own, without an alliance. SAD has also ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the BJP.
Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar
Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar

CHANDIGARH: Amid a reunion buzz involving the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the saffron party’s Punjab in-charge Vijay Rupani on Thursday said his party would fight the parliamentary elections on its own, without an alliance. SAD has also ruled out the possibility of an alliance with the BJP.

SAD, in alliance with Mayawati’s BSP, fought the 2022 Assembly polls and ended up frustratingly at number three after AAP and Congress. The BJP and SAD ended their three-decade-old alliance in 2020 in the wake of farm laws that were later junked.

Punjab BJP in-charge Vijay Rupani was in Amritsar on Thursday to pay obeisance at Golden Temple along with new Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar. “The BJP in Punjab will fight the 2024 Lok Sabha elections on its own without forming an alliance with any other party. We will contest the elections alone in the state and win all 13 Lok Sabha seats. The party will contest the parliamentary elections under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi and form the next government at the Centre,” Rupani said.

Asked about the speculation that his party could have an alliance with SAD yet again, he said, “I have already said that we will contest alone. It is up to you to interpret my statement.”

Newly appointed Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar said the party leadership would take a call on any alliance as he would seek feedback from BJP workers if any realignment was acceptable to them.

Meanwhile, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal met senior leaders of his party at his residence in Chandigarh on Wednesday where he was advised to be cautious and examine all aspects before taking any decision. “We must also keep in mind the impact of any decision we make on all Punjabis, especially Sikhs,” said a senior SAD leader.

Sources said SAD leaders asked Sukhbir to seek clarity from the BJP on the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) and its impact on the rights of minorities, especially the Sikhs. He should also demand the release of Sikh detainees lodged in various jails in the country.

However, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal said that there was no question of an alliance with the BJP as the BSP is the SAD ally. 

SAD spokesperson Daljeet Singh Cheema said, “There is no discussion on our alliance with the BJP. Our alliance with the BSP is intact.”

On the other hand, the BSP seemed to be in a dilemma. BSP’s Punjab chief Jasvir Garhi said he has been enquiring about the reports of a possible SAD-BJP alliance from the senior SAD leadership, but they all have been feigning ignorance.

SAD lost the 2017 and 2022 assembly elections. Currently, the party has only three MLAs in the assembly, while the BJP has two legislators. Both parties were in alliance for more than three decades. The SAD had walked out of the NDA in September 2020 following the farmers’ protests against three Central controversial farm laws, which were later repealed. The three laws had led to a huge protest in Punjab.

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The New Indian Express