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Discussion of reconciliation in BJP-Akali Dal intensifies

Sanjeev Singh Bariana/Trinew

Chandigarh, 26 April

Political pundits are seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the city to pay homage to Prakash Singh Badal, considered the father of Punjab politics, as a strong signal. It is believed that in the midst of the latest developments, the sound of new equations has started to be heard. The BJP and the Shiromani Akali Dal may forget their differences and again join the ‘old bond’.

Actually there are many reasons which give impetus to this discussion. Soon after the formal announcement of Badal’s death, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar rushed to the hospital. BJP president JP Nadda is also reaching Badal’s village on Thursday to attend his last rites. A confidant of late former CM Parkash Singh Badal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming here to pay homage gives a big message. He said, ‘PM Modi always held senior Badals in high regard. Modi publicly called Parkash Singh Badal the Nelson Mandela of Indian politics.

In this regard, Punjab BJP president Ashwini Sharma, however, said, “It is wrong to link our respect for Badal, one of the tallest leaders of Indian politics, with any future alliance.” Badal was an institution in himself. Even though I was half his age, a few years ago, when I went to meet him, he came to see me at the gate after the meeting. I was very impressed by his decency.

It may be noted that Badal had announced his unconditional support to the BJP in 1996 despite strong opposition from senior party leaders. Even when voices were being raised against the farm bills, Badal had said that the Center would never stop giving MSP on wheat and rice. Badal’s advisor Harcharan Bains said, “The PM’s coming to pay homage to one of the tallest leaders of Indian politics, cutting across party lines, shows his respect for Badal.”

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