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SAD to contest "maximum" seats in Haryana all alone

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Press Trust of India Chandigarh
With the SAD deciding to fight the Haryana assembly polls on its own after its sole MLA in the state joined BJP, senior Akali Dal leader Balwinder Singh Bhundar on Friday said the party would contest maximum number of seats in the state.
We will try to fight on maximum number of seats during the upcoming Haryana assembly polls, Bhundar said.
He said the party is in touch with the minority community, farmers and labourers and will contest polls with their support in Haryana.
The SAD has been claiming to have sway over at least 30 seats in Haryana. It was keen to forge a poll alliance with the BJP and fight on several seats including Pehowa, Kaithal, Assandh, Kalanwali.
TheSAD had formed a committee headed by party's general secretary-in charge for Haryana, Balwinder Singh Bhundar and had tasked it with holding negotiations with the BJP on sharing seats for the polls.
Bhundar said the BJP leaders, while soliciting support for BJP candidates in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, had given a commitment to contest Haryana assembly polls jointly.
We were in talks with top BJP leadership for contesting the Haryana assembly polls. But then this thing happened (SAD MLA joining BJP), rued Bhundar.
SAD's lone MLA from Kalanwali Balkaur Singh joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Thursday, where he praised Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for providing an "honest" government to the state.
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday in Amritsar lashed out at the BJP for inducting its lone sitting MLA in Haryana into its fold, saying what the saffron party has done is "unethical and unfortunate".
"There is a 'maryada' (dignity) of relationship (alliance). What BJP has done by inducting our sitting MLA (into its own fold) is unethical and violated the maryada (dignity)," Sukhbir told reporters in Amritsar district

Badal, however, said the alliance with the saffron party was intact in Punjab and Delhi but asserted that the SAD would contest the Haryana assembly polls all alone.
The SAD has been fighting polls in alliance with the BJP in Punjab and Delhi. It had earlier contested the Haryana assembly polls in alliance with the INLD. However, ties between the SAD and INLD broke in 2017 following differences on the SYL issue.
The BJP has set a target of winning 75-plus seats in the 90-member House. The state unit leaders of the BJP had earlier maintained that any decision on seat sharing with the SAD would be taken by their senior leadership.

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First Published: Sep 27 2019 | 8:30 PM IST

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