Ahead of the Delhi Assembly election, sources have stated that BJP president JP Nadda will be meeting with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday evening. In a possible U-turn for SAD, sources further stated that Sukhbir Singh Badal along with Nadda will address a joint press conference after their meeting. Earlier, Shiromani Akali Dal had decided not to contest Delhi Elections over their differences with BJP regarding their stand on Citizenship Amendment Act.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday indicated that the alliance with the BJP was in place in Punjab, days after its ally decided to contest the Delhi elections alone. Asked whether the SAD and BJP would fight the 2022 assembly elections separately, Badal told reporters in Amritsar that “these (such reports) are just in the media and he has been hearing such reports for the last 20 years.”
The SAD had earlier announced in Delhi that it would not contest the Delhi polls next month after it was asked by ally BJP to change its stand on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act. On Punjab CM opposing the CAA, Badal asked Amarinder Singh whether he did not want thousands of persecuted Sikhs, Hindus, Jains and others in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan get relief under the amended Citizenship Act. Badal accused Singh of following “orders” of the Gandhi family to “save his chair”. Badal also slammed rebel Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and other splinter groups like SAD (Taksali), accusing them of trying to weaken the SAD.
New Delhi will go to polls in a single-phase on February 8 and the counting of votes will take place on February 11. The last day of filing nominations for the candidates was on January 21. The BJP has fielded Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha president Sunil Yadav against Delhi CM Kejriwal from New Delhi constituency, and the Congress has fielded former NSUI Delhi president Ramesh Sabharwal against him.
The BJP and Congress are yet to name their Chief Ministerial faces. For the BJP, names such as Manoj Tiwari, Hardeep Puri and Harsh Vardhan have been floated. Amit Shah, however, has stated in the absence of a formal name, the BJP would contest under PM Modi's leadership.
(with agencies input)