JIND, Haryana, India—Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Badal, who attended Jind rally in Haryana to campaign in favour of family friend Om Prakash Chautala’s party Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) on Thursday, wherein central NDA Narendra Modi government came under criticism, has embarrassed his party SAD’s poll partner BJP.
This development is crucial given the chemistry of SAD-BJP relationship is already spoiling following the instances of the Modi government refusing to oblige the Badal government in any sphere of ‘public or personal concerns.’
At Jind, regional parties have called for a united front to take on those trying to divide the country on communal lines. The BJP government at the Centre came under attack from regional parties at an Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) function to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal at Pandu Pindara village.
Devi Lal’s old regional friends from various political parties made an impassioned appeal for a “real tribute” to the leader by getting united to defeat the BJP and the Congress. Bihar’s former CM and Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar, who parted ways with the BJP after it projected Narender Modi as NDA’s prime ministerial candidate, asked the PM to show his “56-inch chest” to China and Pakistan since both were repeatedly flexing their muscles despite friendly overtures by India.
“Where has the ‘56-inch chest’ gone? The country wants to see that,” said Nitish, while giving a clarion call to all regional parties to get united to save the country from the misrule of the BJP and the Congress.
Nitish advised the saffron party to take a cue from INLD leaders on how to treat party elders. While the INLD had been organising functions to commemorate their deceased elders, the BJP had sidelined its senior leaders such as LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, he said. “The BJP has forgotten its leaders and it will cost the party dearly in the coming days,” he said.
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) leader HD Deve Gowda also stressed the need for finding an alternative to the Congress and the BJP at the Centre.
He lauded Devi Lal’s role in fight for the cause of country’s farmers. “To save the country from communal politics and for the betterment of our countrymen, we need leaders such as Devi Lal and a third alternative at the Centre,” said Gowda.
Punjab Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal chief patron, however, confined his speech to seeking votes for the INLD. The SAD is an alliance partner of the BJP in Punjab and Badal’s daughter-in-law Harsimrat Kaur Badal is a Union Minister at the Centre.
“I pray for an INLD government in Haryana,” said Badal in his brief speech.
Another JD(U) leader, Sharad Yadav, alleged that successive Union governments had been ignoring the plight of the poor in the absence of accountability.
“We must get united to form a pressure group to keep government’s actions under check. If we do not get united, the country will be deprived of real development,” he said. Shivpal Singh Yadav, younger brother of Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, said his party would support all attempts to forge a third alternative.