In Punjab politics, the resignation of Harsimrat Kaur Badal from PM Narendra Modi’s Cabinet is being seen through the prism of a continuing slide in the relationship between the two allies – the SAD and the BJP – in Punjab.
Reacting on the development, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma said, “Earlier, both senior and junior Badal had supported the ordinances. What has happened now (Harsimrat’s resignation) appears to be an internal matter of the SAD. It could be due to political compulsion.”
Another senior BJP leader from Punjab, Manoranjan Kalia, said SAD had earlier come out out with a statement referring to letter by Union Agriculture Minister that MSP regime would continue.
“Fatherly figure Parkash Singh Badal also supported the ordinances. I do not know what changed now. Akali Dal has asserted that it will continue to be part of NDA government. If there are any differences, these could be sorted out,” said Kalia.
SAD, Kisan Wing, General Secretary Gurpartap Singh Wadala, who a day earlier had said that the situation had not reached such a flashpoint that Harsimrat would have to resign, said on Thursday: “The issue was not taken up by the NDA government in a manner which Akali Dal wanted. SAD eventually thought that it was morally right to quit the government.”
He added: “Majority of the party cadre also wanted party to demonstrate very strong decision on the issue and wanted that Akali Dal should not be taken for granted…As alliance partner BJP has addressed lot of emotional issues of Punjab like punishment for perpetrators of anti Sikh riots, abolition of black list and opening of Kartarpur Corridor. These were due as Akali Dal has been a part of NDA and pushing for these issues.”
On farm bills, Wadala said, “The onus lies on BJP because it is the larger partner. It is a two-way road. Ball is in the court of the BJP.”
As reported by The Indian Express on Thursday, former Akali minister Sikander Singh Maluka, who is considered to very close to Badal family, had said that Harsimrat was likely to resign on the issue and had conveyed the same to the party and 90 per cent of the senior party leadership had agreed to that.
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