Punjab: In an interesting sidelight, the talks for an alliance between the BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, too, have failed, according to reports.
The change in strategy came after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor Arvind Kejriwal announced that it would contest all the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab and one in Chandigarh.
"In the next 10-15 days, AAP will declare its candidates in all of these 14 seats. You have to ensure AAP sweeps all these 14 seats with a majority," Kejriwal, the Delhi Chief Minister, said at an event in Punjab. This also comes against the backdrop of SAD exerting pressure on the BJP regarding the issues of farmers and the release of Sikh prisoners.
SAD's late patriarch and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal broke ranks with the BJP in 2020 against the backdrop of the farmers protest against the now-repealed farm laws. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP and Akali Dal had contested together and won 4 out of 13 seats. The BJP had contested three seats and bagged two. The Akali Dal had contested 10 and had also won two seats.