BJP wooing Ezhava leaders in Kerala and Pawan Kalyan in Andhra.
New Delhi: After fixing alliances in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now in the process of giving final touches to tie-up with one of its oldest allies, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), in Punjab. Besides, the party is also likely to seal alliances with smaller parties in other states.
A BJP source said that the seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties is likely to remain the same as in the last election. “In 2014, SAD had contested on 10 seats, while the BJP on three. The arrangement is likely to remain the same this time too. There is absolutely no issue as far as SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab is concerned,” he said.
There will be no seat swapping and the BJP, as usual, will field candidates from Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar constituencies, the sources said, adding that a formal announcement is likely to be made soon.
They also said that the Kerala unit of BJP is in talks with Bharatiya Dharma Jana Sena, which has considerable following in the Ezhava (OBC) community there. The party, they said, may also support a few Independent candidates in the state, which has 20 Lok Sabha seats.
In Andhra Pradesh, the party is in touch with Jana Sena Party leader Pawan Kalyan, but so far no arrangement has been reached. In 2014, the BJP had won two Lok Sabha seats when it had fought elections in alliance with Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP, which is now part of the Opposition camp.
In Jharkhand, its alliance partner All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU) is demanding Ranchi, Hazarigabh and Giridih seats. However, the BJP is in no mood to give any seat to the AJSU, headed by Sudesh Mahato, which is sharing power with the BJP in the state.
Meanwhile, all the Opposition parties—JMM, Congress, JVM and RJD—have got united in the state. They have resolved the issue of Godda seat, which has finally gone to JVM.
The saffron party’s focus has now shifted to working out the details of the agreements already done in Bihar, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. The party is also in the process of fixing the glitches in Northeast and also exploring the possibilities of pre- or post-poll alliances in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, said the source.
The BJP has lost its alliance partner Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in Assam. The Apna Dal has also threatened to walk out of the NDA in UP.