Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 27
The Shiromani Akali Dal became the third major ally of the BJP-led NDA to quit the alliance after the Shiv Sena in 2019 and TDP in 2018.
While the separation may have made no difference to the NDA, the fact is that the saffron party’s relationship with two of its oldest supporters – the Shiv Sena and SAD — has ended. The two allies decided to part ways to save their “individual political identity” and “core voters”.
The current NDA allies include the JD(U), LJP and HAM(S) in Bihar, JJP in Haryana, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, Apna Dal in UP and some other minor parties like the Ram Das Athawale-led RPI in Maharashtra.
Party leaders claim the BJP never initiated move to sever ties with any party and those who left have either joined back or regretted the move.
TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu, after faring poorly in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, “openly admitted regret” over his decision to quit the NDA, they claim.
Both JD(U) and the AIADMK have joined the alliance, while the Shiv Sena may have parted ways in Maharashtra, it stood with the NDA in the Lok Sabha. Similarly, the HAM(S) is back. In all, the NDA is an alliance of around 25 parties, they say.
So far as the PDP is concerned, the BJP pulled out because of “genuine concerns” related to Jammu and Kashmir, they claim.
The leaders claim that there is no state, including Punjab, where the BJP’s organisational structure is not as strong as that of regional parties. Rajya Sabha MP Shwait Malik says: “They (Akali Dal) quit the alliance. There was no such move from our side. Why did they not leave earlier? Why were they giving favourable statements regarding farm ordinances? The BJP has always taken them along on issues concerning Punjab.”