Chandigarh: The Bharatiya Janta Party, which had initially held plans to contest the 2017 Punjab assembly elections alone, has decided against breaking alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal. With recent developments, where AAP has entered into the political scene and Amritsar MP Captain Amarinder Singh back as state Congress president, the ruling combine is keen to prevent the division of votes once more.
Positive that the AAP and the Congress would contest for the number two and three slots, BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh said the Akali-BJP combination would form the government. The state BJP unit has left the alliance matter to the national leadership and accepted that political scenario in Punjab has changed in the past two months of religio-political turmoil. “The BJP will take all steps for communal harmony in the border state of Punjab,” Chugh said, hinting that they would stay with the Akalis, who have already set the tone for the 2017 contest.
After coming to power in Haryana on its own, last October, the BJP contemplated taking the risk in Punjab too. However, the February debacle in Delhi and the most recent failure in the Bihar elections has made them more cautious. “There may be a difference of opinion but there are no differences in our heart,” said Chugh, adding that most of the issues with the SAD had been sorted out and the rest would also be resolved.