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Practically, no pact with Shiromani Akali Dal: BSP chief

All does not seem well with the alliance of SAD and the BSP. The ‘rift’ between the two parties came to the fore after BSP chief Jasvir Garhi has said, “Theoretically, the alliance stands but practically on ground there seems to be no alliance now”.

He has said even as the Lok Sabha poll is around the corner, there have been no talks on seat sharing between the two parties. He has said there had been a coordination committee meeting of the two parties two months back. “It was then discussed that the cadres of both parties had not worked in sync for the 2022 Assembly poll. There had been fewer joint activities of both parties ahead of the polls and hence the results were not satisfactory”, he has said.

There have been no talks on the alliance at a meeting or even telephonically. “Leave aside talks on seat sharing, SAD leaders have not even asked us if we were doing good or were facing any problems”, he hinted that the SAD leaders seemed to be engaged in talks of alliance with BJP and hence had sidelined the BSP leadership.

Garhi, however, has said the final call on the alliance will be taken by the party supremo Mayawati. “But I have said this as I did not want the BSP cadres and supporters to be kept in dark. They need to know the reality. Our party has already started working on ground to contest all 13 seats by itself for we want to be fully prepared for any such situation”, he clarified his stand.

The BSP Punjab president said two days back, the BSP had already held a meeting and finalised a panel of three probables from each of the 13 seats. It had already been decided within the party that Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur seats would be contested by the BSP on its symbol, whether the alliance remained or not.

BSP leaders in Jalandhar said the situation had already been shared with them at a meeting held last month. “We had been specifically told even then to prepare to contest parliamentary polls independently”, they said.

SAD and the BSP had entered an alliance in June 2021. The BSP had contested 20 out of 117 seats in the 2022 Vidhan Sabha poll and won one in Nawanshahr.

SAD spokesperson Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said there was no issue from the SAD side. “We will talk to the BSP leadership about it,” he said.

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