Bolstered after reclaiming the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) from the Congress in January,the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is now mulling the prospects of contesting the Delhi Assembly elections on their own.
While a formal decision is yet to be taken,the decision could potentially spell doom for the partys alliance with the BJP in the national capital.
A senior functionary of the SAD said the party had reiterated their demand for more seats in Delhi. We have won the
DSGMC elections with an overwhelming majority and believe we have the support required to contest Assembly elections as well. Though a seat-sharing agreement has existed with the BJP,we have rarely contested under our own symbol or in constituencies of our choice, the party leader said.
Sources in the SAD said they had begun preparations in certain constituencies in Delhi,where a fair share of the electorate comprised the Sikh community. We did not have a choice earlier but obviously we have an edge in certain constituencies such as Tilak Nagar,Hari Nagar and Rajouri Garden. If the BJP is not ready to give us these constituencies,we are seriously considering contesting them on our own, a senior leader said.
The move could damage the BJPs chances in winning back Delhi from Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,who took over in 1998. A senior BJP leader said,The SAD is demanding seats in which BJP MLAs have won for at least four terms. In our seat-sharing deal with the SAD in Punjab,we do not ask for seats where the incumbent is from SAD.
Sources in the BJP said the SAD stood a slim chance of success in taking on the Congress and the BJP in Delhi.
Nobody knows the SAD symbol in Delhi,where Congress and BJP are dominant. This move will only result in cutting the vote-share of the BJP and ensuring the Congress victory, a BJP leader said.