Mann has 'understanding' with Amit Shah to split AAP after Lok Sabha polls, claims SAD chief Badal

Badal cited how AAP is contesting against the Congress in Punjab but Mann has been campaigning for the grand old party in Chandigarh and Haryana.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (File Photo | PTI)

SANGRUR: Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has an "understanding" with Union Home Minister Amit Shah to split AAP into a separate Punjab unit after the elections, like Shiv Sena's Eknath Shinde did in Maharashtra, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed on Saturday.

Badal made the claim while addressing rallies at Sunam and Dhuri for the Shiromani Akali Dal's (SAD) Sangrur candidate Iqbal Singh Jhundan.

"Bhagwant Mann has compromised with the BJP as he felt he would also be arrested like his boss (Arvind) Kejriwal because he had also perpetrated the same liquor scam as done by AAP in Delhi. This understanding has saved him from arrest," Badal alleged.

Shiv Sena leader Shinde became Maharashtra chief minister after parting ways with Uddhav Thackeray and forming an alliance with the BJP.

The Election Commission of India has since recognised the Shinde faction as officially representing the Shiv Sena while the Thackeray-led faction has been using the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) name.

The Shiromani Akali Dal chief also asserted that no Delhi-based party can be trusted with votes.

"Bhagwant Mann has opened channels with both the BJP and the Congress to hedge his bet. While he has an informal understanding with the BJP, he has also aligned with the Congress in Punjab and is putting up a friendly fight in most constituencies," Badal said.

He cited how AAP is contesting against the Congress in Punjab but Mann has been campaigning for the grand old party in Chandigarh and Haryana.

AAP and the Congress are constituents of the opposition INDIA bloc.

While the two parties are contesting the Lok Sabha elections independently in Punjab, they have an alliance in Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana and Chandigarh.

Urging Punjabis to "seal the borders" for all Delhi-based parties, Badal said, "The AAP government in Punjab and the Union government colluded to prevent our farmers from marching to Delhi. This led to firing of tear gas shells at our farmers and even firing of rubber bullets. Now it is your turn to seal the borders of Punjab with your votes."

He also made a case for trusting the Shiromani Akali Dal -- a home-grown party of Punjab.

Badal said the Shiromani Akali Dal has always stood for safeguarding the interests of Punjab and decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections alone when it became clear that the BJP was not ready to resolve any of the pending grievances of the farmers or the Sikh community.

He also announced that once the Shiromani Akali Dal is elected to power, it will release tubewell connections to all agriculturists who do not have a single connection in their name.

He also promised that all social welfare schemes that have been curtailed by successive Congress and AAP governments would be revived in totality.

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