Delhi BJP President Manoj Tiwari and Union minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday announced the party's allies in the upcoming Delhi Assembly Polls. However, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), BJP's long-time ally was not mentioned in the list of allies released by BJP.
BJP had first accommodated Janata Dal-United (JDU) and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) in the Delhi polls. Sources suspect that BJP is likely to end its alliance with SAD in Delhi. However, the BJP leadership is silent on the breaking of alliance with SAD.
"Till today, we have decided not to have an alliance with Akali in Delhi. We have our alliance in Punjab. However, we would experiment with new allies in Delhi assembly polls. We are contesting with JD(U) and LJP, " a senior BJP leader said.
Manoj Tiwari informed that the JDU will be contesting on Sangam Vihar and Burari seats, while LJP will contest from Seemapuri. The party has decided to contest Delhi polls with these allies. Rest 10 seats would be decided by Monday night, he added.
Breaking alliance with Akali in Delhi will have political impacts for its alliance in Punjab as well. Previously, during Haryana assembly elections, BJP had co-opted for the sitting SAD MLA Balkaur Singh into BJP, which was criticised by the Akalis.
SAD had accused the BJP of 'using political muscle power' to make an MLA join BJP and claimed that it was against the coalition rules. Senior BJP leaders believe that severing alliance with Akali could have greater impacts.
"It is our oldest ally. This decision could strain the relations with the centre, " a senior leader said.
"Unofficially it's over. The picture will be clear by tonight, " another BJP leader stated.
Rajyasabha MP and SAD Delhi Incharge Balwinder Singh Bhunder said that though there is an indication that the alliance might break, the parties are still in talks regarding the same.
"It's not over as of now. We are still negotiating. Talks are on," added Bhunder.
The Delhi BJP has not announced its candidates on all 13 seats. While three seats have been given to allies, ten seats are yet to be announced. The Delhi assembly poll nominations will close on January 21. Elections are scheduled for February 8 and the result will be announced on February 11.