BJP also wants to do away with Akali Dal

October 06 2020

The three ordinances on agriculture and farmers had come on June 3, but the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) took a long time to hear the conscience and screams of the farmers of the state, in fact until these ordinances were brought in the Lok Sabha, the Akalis did not realize that this issue is going to affect the politics of Punjab to such a scale. There are more than 20 lakh small and big farmers in Punjab, 3 lakh mandi laborers and about 28 thousand registered ‘Aadhtiyas’, for whom these ordinances are nothing short of an alarm bell. SAD was in support of these ordinances till one month ago, but what happened suddenly that broke the friendship of the past 20 years and Harsimrat Kaur Badal had to resign from the Modi cabinet? Between the Akalis and the BJP, tussle started to appear with the formation of the 17th Lok Sabha, when the SAD seat in the Lok Sabha, which was reserved for the front row, was shifted a few rows back. Sukhbir Badal and Harsimrat spoke about the BJP top leadership and even pleaded with the Lok Sabha Speaker, but it did not work. As long as Arun Jaitley was present, he acted as a dialogue bridge between the BJP and the Akali Dal, the Akalis have suffered the most because of his absence. Since long, the BJP has been wanting to do its own politics in Punjab. The assembly elections are to be held in Punjab in 2022, so till then, BJP wants to strengthen its organization there. For some time, the BJP had started growing closer to the rebel leader of the Akali Dal – Sukhvir Singh Dhindsa- a move that the Badal family did not like. The Shiromani Akali Dal’s worst performance in the last assembly elections was when it won just 15 seats out of the total 117 of the state and the Jat vote bank also slipped out of its hands, while the BJP has been proactive in the Hindu and Sikh voters, another point which upset Badal. Now the Akali Dal wants to return to its hardcore politics again, for which they too are seeing this as the most suitable time.

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