BJP and Akali Dal to fight jointly in next Lok Sabha elections

Amritsar, July 9 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party had a two-day state level executive meet here to plan the strategy for the parliamentary elections due next year.

The presence of the national chief of the BJP Rajnath Singh and the Akali Chief Minister of Punjab Prakash Singh Badal during the discussions has given an indication that the BJP is planning to ensure victory in elections to the three Lok Sabha seats of Amritsar, Gurdaspur and Hoshiarpur, and also work in tandem with alliance partner SAD (B) in rest of the ten Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.

One of the primary concerns of the party is the removal of irritants within the SAD-BJP alliance on various issues.

Both party chiefs, Rajnath Singh and Prakash Singh Badal reiterated that there were no differences within the alliance. Rajnath Singh not only asked the party leaders and workers to spread out amongst the masses and take the party's policies and programs to the public, but stated that BJP leaders should not be bugged by the 'VIP culture'.

"Reach out to the people. The next elections are crucial and those would set the course of the history for country. We will emerge as largest party in the parliament," he stated.

He expressed confidence that new BJP team in state led by President Kamal Sharma and Vice President Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina would deliver the desired results. He said the party's rank and file must pull up their sleeve and work for the party's success in the next polls.

Rajnath Singh criticized the Congress-led UPA Government for corruption, misgovernance, inflation and downslide in the economy.

"This government in the Centre needs to be replaced and we will do so," he stated.

Rajnath Singh said that the Punjab BJP would, besides concentrating more on three seats it will contest as per the alliance arrangements, will also work hard for the alliance. "We will take every seat in the state seriously. We are in alliance and work equally hard for the seats to be fought by the SAD (B), said Kamal Sharma.

The present party MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, representing the Amritsar seat, has been staying away from the constituency for long periods, which has embarrassed the party leadership.

"He is our talented leader and we will use him where required," said Rajnath Singh.

The Amritsar seat which is largely composed of Sikh voters usually had BJP's Sikh face. Earlier, it was Daya Singh Sodhi, then Navjot Singh Sidhu. Some Sikh candidate would be seriously considered if Navjot Sidhu opts out to contest from somewhere else, says party sources.

Some reports in the media have indicated that Sidhu may not contest from Amritsar as he felt that he was being sidelined from the party affairs.

Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal reiterated the strong bonds between SAD and BJP, and said each would lend support to their partners in rural as well as urban areas of Punjab. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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