It may sound strange that two parties are allies for three decades in a state while at the same time are political rivals in a neighboring state. We have seen that happen many times in Indian politics and now it is happening between BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal.
These parties have a coalition government in Punjab since 2007, secondly, the Akali Dal is part of the NDA and Harsimrat Badal of Akali Dal is one of the ministers in the newly formed BJP government at the center. Despite these facts, it is also true that both parties are political foes in Haryana, which does sound a little bit strange.
Political Coalitions for Haryana Polls
This year there will be polls in Haryana and focusing on that the Shiromani Akali Dal has elected to develop partnership with local party, Indian National Lok Dal or INLD. On the other hand, BJP has built alliance with Kuldeep Bishnoi led Haryana Janhit Congress. We may add here that Kuldeep is son of Bhajan Lal, who was the former chief minister of the state. The coalition of BJP and HJC will be fighting against the Akali Dal and INLD coalition.
Akali Dal and the Gurdwara Issue
Akali Dal as well as their leaders; especially Prakash Singh Badal who is the chief minister of Punjab, have put BJP in a difficult situation by forming partnership with INLD. The main issue Akali Dal is focusing on presently relates to getting control over gurdwaras present in the state.
The controversy related to gurdwaras in the state has been a major setback for BJP that is trying its best to get victory in this coming assembly election. It is also being reported that senior BJP leaders had to request Badal to restrain himself and not make the gurdwara topic a major issue since it can have a negative effect on BJP’s performance in these coming assembly elections.
BJP’s Performance in Lok Sabha Elections
The BJP showed its best performance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections by winning seven of the 10 seats and it had contested in 8 seats only while its partner HJC lost two seats for which it gave candidates. Therefore, BJP is quite sure of achieving the same feat in the assembly elections as well.
Thus as we can see both BJP and Akali Dal are fighting assembly polls in Haryana this year but as foes and not allies. It is thereby to be seen whether they come together after the elections to form a government or remain foes.