Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 12
With the BJP suffering a drubbing in the Delhi elections, its coalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has rubbed in the importance of keeping the alliance for better results.
“Better coordination with us could have produced different results for the BJP,” said Daljit Singh Cheema, SAD spokesperson.
“Local BJP leaders did not want Akalis to participate due to which we stayed away from the polls. Besides, there were differences on our stand to include the Muslims in the CAA. The differences were bridged close to the voting day but it was too late for us to participate actively in the campaigning. Moreover, as there was no candidate of the party so the cadre could not be mobilised. Our participation could’ve given an advantage to the BJP and sometimes swings do happen,” he added.
Reading from the results, Akali leaders said the way the BJP candidates lost poorly from Sikh-dominated seats like Tilak Nagar, Rajouri Garden and Hari Nagar besides Kalka Ji and Shahadra proves that it should have taken regional parties along.
“The results would have been different if the BJP was not swayed by its local leadership,” DSGMC chief Manjinder Singh Sirsa. He represented the Rajouri Garden seat in the last elections when the BJP-led NDA had just three seats in the Assembly of 70.
The SAD had polled 2.2 per cent in the 2015 Delhi polls. The party had contested four seats, two of which were on the BJP symbol.
Sirsa said the BJP did not even feel it fit to field Sikh candidates from the seats dominated by the community like Rajouri Garden and Tilak Nagar. “In Rajouri Garden, the polling dropped by 10 per cent this election. We feel these were the Sikh votes, which were not polled.”
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