After poor show in Lok Sabha 2014 poll results, BJP-led NDA, the saffron party and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal could not replicate the success in Punjab where they have been power for the past seven years. BJP is emerging as a serious challenger this time in view of magnificent performance in Lok Sabha polls.
With claim of making a hat-trick by the ruling Congress, which formed governments in 2005 and 2009, under Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the multi-cornered assembly elections in Haryana, are being held during October
Now, the two allies are facing some rough times in the state. The BJP had set up a panel under senior leader Balramji Dass Tandon to find the cause of the poor election results in the state. In its report submitted to party in-charge Shanta Kumar, the panel blamed the Akalis for the NDA's poor show in Punjab.
The very interesting point of the alliance of SAD-BJP is that it is friendly in Punjab but enemy in Haryana. Both, BJP and SAD have been running an alliance government in Punjab since 2007 whereas Akalis are also part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Harsimrat Badal from the Akali Dal, is a minister in the Narendera Modi Government.
At the same time, the BJP which has a tie up with the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC)_ led by Kuldeep Bishnoi son oe former Chief Minisger, Bhajan Lal, is all set to oppose the INLD-Akali Dal alliance and the ruling Congress.
With these arrangements, the Akalis led by Badal in Punjab have put the BJP on a sticky wicket by siding with the INLD and opening the issue of control over the gurdwaras in Haryana.
Political observers feel that BJP is moving ahead with the 2017 Punjab elections in its sight. The party's biggest challenge is to strengthen the cadre in rural areas and to fight the AAP's growing popularity.
In view of the statement of Punjab BJP President Kamal Sharma that in the coming municipal elections in Punjab, the BJP will independently field its candidates, has created perplexity in the Akali circle and he did not bother to extend invitation to the ministers and the party's 12 legislators.
The dismal performance of the party in the state among the hidden factors, is drug menance, illicit liquor, cable TV, sand mining and transport mafia despite a strong pro-Modi wave. The Tandon committee report has also pointed fingers at the heavy property taxes imposed on the urban voters for the poor election show.
Another reason for the strained relations between Akali and BJP could be gauged from indicating of BJP inducting former Punjab Police chief and SAD leader P.S.Gill into the saffron party's Jammu & Kashmir Unit. Badal has commented on this Eh badi maadi gal haigi This is a very bad move by the BJP - neither Akali Dal nor the BJP should do anything like this, after all we are partners.
Frankly speaking, the relations between the SAD and BJP deteriorated in Punjab after the Lok Sabha polls as leaders of both parties openly campaigned against one another, leading to mutual bitterness. The state of incompatibility is visible.
In the event of break in alliance, Punjab is likely to become a wrestling place and the ultimate sufferer would be the people of the state and in this scenario, now it looks to be a litmus test for both the parties for each other when the elections in Haryana are scheduled in October, 2014.