After the BJP decided to contest the Lok Sabha polls in Punjab on its own, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said that for his party, principles are more important “than the number game” as he slammed the national parties for “playing politics” over votes.

The BJP, earlier on Tuesday, announced that it will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on its own in Punjab, indicating an end to the negotiations for re-stitching an alliance with the Akali Dal.

Reacting to BJP’s move, Badal said “The SAD is not an ordinary political party. It is a party of principles. For us, principles are more important than the number game.”

Badal went on to add that the 103-year-old Akali Dal’s responsibility was to protect “qaum” (community), Punjab, and maintain brotherhood and peace in the state.

“The Akali Dal was not formed to just form the government,” he maintained.

Sukhbir Badal did not refrain from accusing the Delhi-based national political parties of playing politics over votes. “We are not (playing) politics over votes. For us, it is Punjab,” he added.

The former deputy chief minister of Punjab also pointed out decisions taken by his party’s core committee a few days ago. “Our core committee has made clear what our principles are,” he said.

Earlier, Punjab BJP chief Sunil Jakhar said the BJP was going to contest the Lok Sabha elections solo.

This decision was taken based on the feedback of people, party workers and leaders. “The decision has been taken for the future of Punjab and the betterment of the youth, farmers, traders, labourers and the downtrodden”, Jhakhar said.

The development came almost a week after senior BJP leader and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, when asked about the possibility of a tie-up with the SAD, had said “Negotiations are on. We want all NDA parties to come together.”

Last month, former BJP national chief Shah had said that talks were going on upon being asked about the alliance with the Sukhbir Badal-led party.

Amid the buzz over re-stitching the alliance, an indication towards going solo in the Lok Sabha polls had been given by the Akali Dal on March 22 after its core committee meeting.

In the resolution passed by the party’s core committee, which is its highest decision-making body, the SAD had said that it would “continue to put principles above politics.”

The resolution had urged the Government of India to honour its “categorical written commitment” for the release of ‘Bandi Singhs’ (Sikh prisoners) who had completed their terms.

The Akali Dal has been demanding the release of Sikh prisoners.

The resolution further said the SAD would continue to champion the cause of the farmers and farm labourers and said that all promises made to them must be fulfilled.

Published On:

Mar 26, 2024

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