Alliance with Amarinder Singh due to same concerns over border, says J P Nadda

Nadda ruled out any compromise with Akali Dal, saying final decision would be taken after the results
Last Updated 26 February 2022, 11:04 IST

In the upcoming Punjab Assembly Elections, former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has joined hands with the BJP after having left the state’s ruling Congress.

BJP President J P Nadda, in an interview with The Indian Express, said that his party joined hands with the Captain because he had raised the border issue with the Centre many times.

“He has been an administrator and his concerns on the border issues matched ours,” Nadda told the publication.

Adding that the final decision regarding an alliance with the Akali Dal will be taken by the BJP Parliamentary board after the results are announced, Nadda ruled out any compromise with the party.

“As far as Akalis are concerned, we had been in a coalition with them and had too many difficulties. We could fight in 23 of the 117 seats but our vote share is big. Last time, too, we had been advised to leave the Akalis, but we did not. Our priority is to grow in the state. So, I don’t see much scope in compromising with them but our senior leaders in the Parliamentary Board will take a decision after the results,” he said.

Speaking about the elections in Uttar Pradesh, Nadda added that rival Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav had “compromised” with national security and it was the BJP’s responsibility to expose them.

He also alleged that Yadav did not respond to the charge of releasing “terrorists” from jail when he became UP chief Minister in 2012. Calling the party ‘anti-development’ Nadda added, “We have to expose those who have a deceptive image. They are trying to portray one image, but they are anti-development people because if chief ministers support and protect terrorists in the 21st century, I think they are supporting those who are weakening the country. Akhilesh (Yadav) tries to put up a sweet face. In almost all rallies, I have connected his name with named terrorists. He has not spoken a word on such a serious charge,” Nadda said.

“I am saying Tariq Kazmi had been released by you… Khalid Mujahid was released by you and Shahabuddin too. Give me an answer. I am saying the first work you did as Chief Minister was to release these terrorists. The court procedures were going on. He wrote in the manifesto that the Muslim youth had been unnecessarily harassed. When he became Chief Minister, all those 15 cases were withdrawn,” Nadda added.

Both Kazmi and Mujahid were linked to terror group Harkar-ul-Jihad-al-Islami which was held responsible for thr the November 2007 blasts in Varanasi, Lucknow and Faizabad.

PM Modi has also linked the SP’s election symbol of bicycle with those used to plant some of the bombs in the 2008 Ahmedabad blast case.

Nadda also linked Aam Aadmi Party, a contender in the Punjab Polls with terrorist outfits and its sympathisers.

“Have you ever had a meeting with a terrorist outfit? Is your political party being funded by terrorist groups? These are specific questions. I am a sweet terrorist is not the answer. It’s deviating, digressing. I have to expose them,” Nadda said.

The BJP president further added that AAP took advantage of the “vacuum” left by the Congress and the Akali Dal. “We were with Akalis, and they left us. There was a vacuum. People got fed up with both the Congress and Akali Dal. And AAP has taken advantage of it. Now we have an opportunity,” he said.

Upon being asked if BJP prefers AAP or Congress as a contender, Nadda said they do not see it on those terms and are focused on border security in Punjab and that they are focused on the issue of national security.

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(Published 26 February 2022, 11:00 IST)

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