Punjab: Shiromani Akali Dal accuses BJP of undermining regional outfits; saffron party hits back

The SAD had snapped its ties with the BJP in 2020 over the Centre's now-repealed farm laws

PTIUpdated: Sunday, August 14, 2022, 02:19 PM IST
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BJP National General Secretary Tarun Chugh | Twitter/@tarunchughbjp

Chandigarh: BJP leader Tarun Chugh termed as baseless the Shiromani Akali Dal's accusation that the saffron party was trying to weaken the regional outfits and asserted that those who cannot set their own house in order are blaming others.

Chugh's remarks came days after the SAD accused the BJP of trying to destablise the party and defame its leaders.

"The intention is to break regional parties to spread the hegemony of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which has been witnessed in Maharashtra and even Bihar recently," the Akali Dal had said.

Chugh, who is BJP's national general secretary, asked SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal to answer questions raised by his own party members over his leadership rather than blaming others.

Refuting the Akali Dal's charge, Chugh said, "Those who cannot set their own house in order are blaming others."

"The voice for changing Sukhbir Badal from the post of SAD president is not raised by the BJP. It is SAD's own leaders who are demanding (that), and you (SAD) are blaming us," Chugh told PTI.

Chugh alleged that people are leaving the Akali Dal as it has turned into a "family party."

"Those who are leaving the Akali Dal are stating that SAD has deviated from its ideology," he alleged.

"Therefore, rather than blaming us, it should set its own house in order," Chugh said.

The senior BJP leader asked the SAD to reply to the questions raised by its own leaders who want a change in the top leadership.

"Instead of giving answers to its mistakes and replying to questions of its own leaders, the Akali Dal is levelling baseless allegations against the BJP," he added.

The SAD had stressed that the BJP would not succeed in weakening the party in Punjab.

Amid discontent in the party, the SAD on August 11 had said its acting district presidents expressed complete faith in the leadership of Badal.

On Friday, the working committee and constituency in-charges of the SAD had authorised Badal to take appropriate steps to strengthen the party as well as maintain inner-party discipline.

Last month, the party leadership was left red-faced after its MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali went against his own party by boycotting the presidential poll. He had said issues related to Punjab remain unresolved and he was not consulted by his party leadership before deciding to back NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu.

Ayali had sought the implementation of the recommendations of the Iqbal Singh Jhundan panel and had even spoken about change in the party leadership.

A section of Akali leaders, including Prem Singh Chandumajra, had also held a meeting at Amritsar on August 8 and had decided to meet Badal to discuss with him the issue of strengthening the party in line with the workers' sentiments.

The Jhudan panel was formed to analyse the reasons for the party's humiliating defeat in the Punjab assembly polls.

The SAD had snapped its ties with the BJP in 2020 over the Centre's now-repealed farm laws.

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