Chandigarh: As the battle for the upcoming Assembly election in Punjab gains momentum, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) joined hands to contest the polls due in early 2022 in the State. SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal made an announcement in this regard.
“As per the seat-sharing arrangement, the SAD will contest 97 seats and the BSP 20,” he said at a press conference. There are a total of 117 Assembly constituencies in Punjab. Badal said the alliance was not a temporary one and would remain intact as both parties will contest not just the upcoming Assembly poll but other elections together as well.
Given the fact that Dalits make up nearly 32% of the total population in the State, the alliance is being seen as critical for the SAD, especially after it broke its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party over the contentious farm laws issue.
With the Assembly poll a few months away, parties are aware of the importance of Dalit votes. The SAD had earlier announced it would appoint a Dalit as Deputy Chief Minister if it forms the government. With the announcement on Dr. Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, the SAD attempted to convey that it is pro-Dalit.
Mayawati hails alliance
Meanwhile, BSP supremo Mayawati welcomed the alliance. Taking to Twitter, Mayawati said that the alliance is a new political and social initiative that will bring a new era of development in Punjab. She congratulated the leaders of both the party and looked forward to bringing prosperity to the state.
Mayawati earlier asserted that under Congress rule in Punjab, every section of the society is suffering from poverty, corruption, and unemployment. However, the most affected part of the society is the Dalits, farmers, youths, and women. She emphasized that the success of the alliance is very crucial to address their issues and mitigate them. Mayawati also appealed to the people of Punjab to join SAD and BSP. She urged the general public to support the historic alliance.