Jangveer Singh, Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, September 23. The BJP today put its alliance partner (Shiromani Akali Dal) in a spot, stating it would not support the proposed assembly resolution demanding clemency for Devinderpal Singh Bhullar.
BJP vice-president Shanta Kumar, when questioned on the issue during an interaction here, said there could be no compromise on the issue of terrorism and the law must take its own course in Bhullar’ case.
Asked as to how the party would react in case the SAD tabled a resolution in the forthcoming assembly session starting October 3, the BJP leader said: “We will oppose the move both outside and inside the assembly”.Though the BJP’s national stand on the issue is clear, there was a feeling that the SAD could bring around the Punjab BJP , keeping in view the forthcoming assembly elections.These hopes have been belied with the BJP making it clear that there was no way it could support any resolution demanding leniency for Bhullar.
Meanwhile, sources said the BJP had initiated formal talks to exchange three seats with the SAD following its core committee meeting yesterday. Shanta Kumar met the Chief Minister after the meeting to brief him about the development.
Party sources said the BJP was ready to exchange Garhshankar, Batala and Amritsar West seats held by it with three seats from the SAD quota. The party has lost the Garhshankar seat twice. As far as Batala is concerned, there is a feeling that party legislator Jagdish Sahni’s performance has been less than satisfactory. The character of the Batala constituency has also changed post-delimitation with the seat becoming rural in character. In case of Amritsar (West), the party has lost the seat three times. Moreover, the seat has been declared reserved.
For giving away these three seats, the party is keen to get the Ludhiana West seat for former party president Rajinder Bhandari. The SAD legislator, Harish Dhanda, holds this constituency. The BJP is also keen to contest from Amritsar East and Ludhiana East, that have been created post-delimitation.
On allegations that the BJP’s popularity had nosedived due to increased factionalism, Shanta said there could be minor differences, but these were being sorted out.
- Party begins talks on swapping Garhshankar, Batala and Amritsar West seats with SAD
- Party keen to get the Ludhiana West seat for former party president Rajinder Bhandari
- The BJP also keen to contest Amritsar East and Ludhiana East seats created post-delimitation