Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, June 11
The Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) are in the final stages of talks for forging an alliance for the 2022 Assembly elections in Punjab.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal is scheduled to meet senior BSP leaders at the national level in Chandigarh on Saturday to ink the alliance. SAD MP Naresh Gujral reportedly held talks with Satish Mishra, All India General Secretary of the BSP, on Friday. A senior SAD leader said the possibility of announcing an alliance on Saturday was very high.
“It will be the beginning of a new socio-political movement not just in Punjab but also in the country where minorities and under-privileged classes will come together on one platform,” he said,
SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema said the party’s core committee was likely to discuss the issue of alliance on Saturday.
“The party president Sukhbir Singh Badal is keen on a head-start for the 2022 elections due to which talks with like-minded parties were on for past few months.”
Jasvir Garhi, state president of the BSP said the party’s national president Mayawati was authorized to speak on the issue.
The Tribune had exclusively reported a series of meetings held between various leaders of both parties in December last year. The parties had agreed in-principle to contest the elections together but differences in sharing seats remained.
Sources said the seat adjustment was being discussed and it seems the senior leaders will make an announcement about it. The BSP wanted 35 seats but the Akalis were offering 20. Sources said it seems the Akalis will agree to give 23 seats to the BSP. These seats were the same which went in BJP’s quota when it contested elections in partnership with the Akalis.
Sources also hinted that the BSP was demanding more seats in the Doaba belt as it has a stronger base in that region. The BSP has a considerable hold over the 31 per cent Dalit votes in the state. The concentration of these votes in 23 seats of the Doaba region is more significant.
The BSP was a part of a third front in the last Assembly elections. It had contested the Lok Sabha elections jointly with the Left parties, Lok Insaaf Party and Punjab Ekta Party. The party is focusing on key Dalit seats where with the support of the Akalis, it hopes to have a major impact on the elections.