BJP-SAD alliance on cards for Delhi elections

BJP, SAD to join forces for Delhi assembly elections; party in talks with JJP

he SAD led by the Badal family is likely to contest four out of the 70 assembly seats in the national capital. AFP file photo

The BJP will contest the upcoming assembly elections in Delhi in alliance with Punjab’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and a formal announcement in this regard is likely to be made on Wednesday, said sources. 

The pre-poll tie-up with the SAD appears to have fructified amid suspense over the saffron party’s alliance with the fledgling Chautala clan-led Janata Jananayak Party (JJP). The SAD led by the Badal family is likely to contest four out of the 70 assembly seats in the national capital. SAD leaders led by former deputy CM Punjab Sukhbir Badal had met Amit Shah in New Delhi to discuss alliance modalities.

The BJP is also in talks with the JJP for an alliance in the Delhi. The JJP and the BJP are allies in Haryana. The JJP has expressed its intentions to contest the assembly polls on nearly 20 seats. The seat-sharing agreement could turn out to be a bone of contention between the two parties.

This would be JJP’s first assembly elections outside of Haryana and the BJP may not be willing to share seats even in the closest proportion to what the JJP may be expecting. The JJP, which completed one year of its existence last month, is buoyed by its electoral performance in the Haryana assembly elections where it not only managed to win 10 seats but also registered an encouraging over 15% of vote share in its maiden poll. Haryana borders Delhi from multiple sides and the JJP, which is predominantly a party represented by Jats, holds sway in many constituencies surrounding the state.

The BJP arguably does not have widespread pockets of influence within the Jat community, be it in Haryana or in the national capital. The saffron outfit will want to capitalize on JJP’s strength to maximize its advantage to counter Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi polls.

The BJP walks away with the advantage of a likely alliance with the SAD. The Akali Dal has remained active in the national capital. Issues concerning Sikhs-be it the struggle for justice for victims of the 1984 pogrom, the revision of the Blacklist or the emotive issue of the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor with Pakistan- the SAD has claimed ownership of many such issues.

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