BJP always welcomes new allies, talks on with Sukhbir Badal-led Shiromani Akali Dal: Amit Shah

by Abbas Adil

The BJP does not believe in “family planning” in politics and always welcomes new allies, Union Home Amit Shah asserted on Saturday and said that talks were on with the Shiromani Akali Dal.

Speaking at an event, Shah also stressed that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) will be implemented before the Lok Sabha polls and predicted the BJP will win 370 seats while the NDA will get more than 400 seats out of 543 in the elections.

Asked about the possibility of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Jayant Chaudhary, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and other regional parties joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Home Minister said, “We believe in family planning (in general) but not in politics.”

“We always want that our alliance grows and we always welcome new allies. Our ideology has remained the same since the days of Jan Sangh. Those who like to join us can come,” he said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.

When pressed further on the re-entry of SAD in NDA, he said, “Talks are going on but nothing has been finalised.”

Sukhbir Singh Badal-led SAD had pulled out of the NDA in September 2020 over the now-scrapped three farm laws.

On the possibility of joining hands with the TDP, which left the NDA in 2018, or the YSR Congress, Shah said, “Everything is not disclosed in such platforms. Wait for some time. Everything will be clear for all.”

In a major political realignment ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar switched from the opposition INDIA bloc to the NDA last month while there is talk of RLD also joining the BJP-led alliance.

Shah said the BJP has never sought separation from any alliance partner and has even let its regional allies lead state governments despite being the bigger partner.

He said many “friends” have come and many have gone away.

There are normally two reasons why they leave. It is because of certain incident or it is because of the political equation of a particular state. But the BJP never sought separation from any party. BJP always maintained the coalition dharma,” Shah said.

The Union minister asserted that there is no suspense over the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls and even the Congress and other opposition parties have realised that they will again have to sit in the opposition benches.

“We have abrogated Article 370 (of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir). So we believe that the people of the country will bless the BJP with 370 seats and the NDA with over 400 seats,” Shah said.

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