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SAD-BJP talks inconclusive
Dialogue over differences to continue today
Naveen S Garewal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 22
Talks between BJP and SAD leaders remained inconclusive following a meeting to resolve their differences that lasted several hours today. A fresh round of discussions will now be held tomorrow morning. Ties between both parties have suffered a major setback in recent days with the BJP complaining of being an “unequal” participant in the state government.

A team of BJP leaders comprising state BJP president Rajinder Bhandari and senior leaders BD Tandon and MM Mittal that met here today evening to iron out the differences that have crept in between the two parties left after looking at various possibilities. They have now proposed that the issues be taken up again tomorrow.

Insiders said the party leadership had worked out a formula but it would be revealed only after working out various modalities. The BJP is believed to have stuck to its stand for greater participation in government, demanding more authority and respect from all quarters within the government.

Sources indicated the BJP reportedly expressed great displeasure over the manner in which Adampur legislator Sarabjit Singh Makkar “abused and threatened” Punjab Industries & Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia for the delay in clearing files relating to some of his personal construction work.

The BJP remained adamant over an unconditional apology by Makkar and a categorical assurance from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal that BJP leaders would be given due respect as per protocol in future. It was suggested Kalia and Makkar be made to meet face to face so that they could resolve their differences. The BJP leadership has reportedly still not committed itself to this.

SAD’s core committee that met prior to meeting the BJP leaders unanimously condemned the incident involving the assault on Ludhiana tehsildar GS Benipal by Akali supporters. The meet was chaired by Badal and attended by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, BS Bhunder, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Tota Singh, PS Chandumajra and SS Sekwan. The panel has instructed the police to arrest all eight people involved in the incident irrespective of their party affiliation.

The BJP leaders also discussed the Ludhiana incident with the SAD core committee and reportedly told Badal the BJP cadres were feeling demoralised over the manner in which government officials were neglecting their duties.

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