SAD aims to widen reach, to contest UP poll

Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal is on job to reinvent the party from a traditional Punjab based right wing political outfit to one symbolising Punjabiyat.

Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh September 12

Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal is on job to reinvent the party from a traditional Punjab based right wing political outfit to one symbolising Punjabiyat. He is trying to expand the party base in almost all Punjabi-speaking areas.

The grand old party of Punjab has already announced its decision to contest the Haryana civic poll. It today announced to contest the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, scheduled for April 2017, around the same time as the Punjab Assembly elections.

The move is yet another attempt by the Akalis to take the party beyond the boundaries of Punjab. Earlier this year, the party had contested the Delhi Assembly elections where it was submerged by the Aam Aadmi Party tsunami and failed to win any seat.

The party’s student wing won in the Panjab University elections. It has even dabbled in the Delhi University student elections.

The party has also been contesting in Haryana. In October 2014 elections, the Akali Dal, which fought elections with the Indian National Lok Dal, won one seat. It is now looking to contest panchayat elections in Haryana on its own. And as the party spreads its wings, it is also trying to garner the NRI support. The party has recently appointed office-bearers of its US unit.

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