Chandigarh: Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said their relationship with the BJP was permanent.
A day after party MP Naresh Gujral “cautioned the BJP to carry along allies” in the NDA government, Sukhbir said “Our relationship with BJP is a time-tested one, and there is no clash. It’s a relationship that emerged to keep the democratic forces together in Punjab, which borders a hostile country like Pakistan.”
Gujral had yesterday asked the BJP to treat its allies with honour and respect, cautioning that the next government at the Centre is likely to be a coalition government
Sukhbir told to the media that Gujral had only pointed out that whatever commitment BJP made to its allies should be fulfilled. “He was talking in reference to the relations between BJP and Telugu Desam Party.
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“This political relationship has helped to keep the Sikhs and Hindus together, after the neighbouring country tried to create communal unrest,” he said
We have no clash of ideology and even the political space occupied by both alliance partners in Punjab and other Punjabi-speaking areas is different, thus we complement each other,” he said.
Though cracks had been growing ever since the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah dispensation took over the reins, this was the first open criticism by an SAD leader of BJP’s treatment of its allies.
Sukhbir, interestingly, is already preparing ground for SAD contesting over 50 Assembly seats in Haryana.