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Cracks turning visible in Badal-BJP combine in Punjab

August 31, 2014 | By

Chandigarh/ Punjab (August 31, 2014): Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) combine is ruling in Punjab for second consecutive term. Leaders of both parties have repeatedly said that the alliance between two parties was firm and “permanent”. Punjab chief minister and Badal Dal patron often terms the relation of the two parties as that of “husband and wife”. Now, it seems as both parties may experience ‘domestic trouble’ in near future, especially when BJP has gained power on it’s own in India but had to bear the shameful defeat of it’s top leader Arun Jaitley from Amritsar constituency in Punjab. Moreover, the performance of alliance was not convincing in Punjab, given the success of BJP in other parts of India during Lok Sabha elections.

Parkash Singh Badal, CM Punjab

Parkash Singh Badal, CM Punjab

Media reports are suggesting that discontent has been brewing in the SAD-BJP camp in Punjab over various issues, including the switching of sides by senior leader PS Gill and imposition of property and advance taxes in the state.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had expressed his displeasure over the induction of Badal Dal man Paramdip Gill to BJP by Amit Shah. CM Badal termed the induction of Paramdip Gill, who had unsuccessfully contested Moga assembly seat on Badal Dal ticket in 2012, in BJP as “unfortunate”.

“Both SAD and BJP should refrain from poaching leaders of each other’s party, as it was violation of the coalition dharma” Parkash Singh Badal reportedly said.

Senior BJP leader and party in-charge of Punjab Shanta Kumar, however, on Sunday (August 31) refused to comment on the objection raised by Parkash Singh Badal.

Shanta Kumar [File Photo]

Shanta Kumar [File Photo]

“I don’t know anything about it. I am not going to comment on this issue. I have no information about which SAD leader has joined the party and what the CM has to say on it,” Shanta Kumar said on the sidelines of a programme in Jalandhar.

He, however, ruled out that cracks had started appearing between the alliance partners in Punjab.

Punjab BJP Chief Kamal Sharma, meanwhile, said that Paramdip Gill had served as police officer most of his time in Jammu and Kashmir. “Gill is more aware of the people of Jammu and Kashmir… So he joined BJP there,” Sharma said.

Paramdip Gill, an 1974-batch IPS officer of Jammu & Kashmir cadre and former police chief Punjab, had joined BJP deserting SAD at a recent rally of BJP chief Amit Shah in Kathua. Earlier too there had been a few incidents that had reportedly led to friction between the two allies.

In June, senior BJP leader Balramji Dass Tandon had questioned Parkash Singh Badal’s meeting with the Prime Minister in Delhi over bringing back Punjabis stuck in Iraq, without any state BJP leader.

Badal, however, had said that as the head of a state every Chief Minister can meet the PM and union ministers anytime as the sole motive of such meetings is to ensure welfare and development of the state.

In another incident, SAD had in June asked BJP MLA and cabinet-rank minister Anil Joshi not to politicise the matter of Punjab government deciding on rollback of “advance tax and property tax”. Anil Joshi had reportedly gone out of the way criticising his own government in the past over the advance tax.

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