NDA seals Punjab seat-sharing deal: BJP to contest 65 seats, Captain's party eyes 37
While announcing the seat-sharing division in a press conference ahead of the Punjab polls, BJP president JP Nadda said the ‘grand’ NDA alliance not only sees the election as a change of regime but also as a means to secure the future generations and provide the state a modicum of stability.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Monday announced its seat-sharing formula for the upcoming Punjab assembly election.
According to the division, the BJP is set to contest the Punjab polls on 65 seats, while the Punjab Lok Congress, led by former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, will field candidates on 37 constituencies.
The Sikh-centric Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) (SAD-S), led by Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, will contest on the remaining 15 seats.
While announcing the seat-sharing division in a press conference ahead of the Punjab polls, BJP president JP Nadda said the ‘grand’ NDA alliance not only sees the election as a change of regime but also as a means to secure the future generations in the state and provide the state a modicum of stability.
“We are all concerned about Punjab, it needs special attention since security is a very important issue here,” said the BJP chief. “The NDA will bring an end to the ‘mafia regime’ in the state once we (the alliance) come to power. Our motto is to bring Punjab back on track.”
As an example, Nadda said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the 1984 riots. "Today, all the accused are in jail,” he said.
Union home minister Amit Shah, who was also present at the meeting, later tweeted saying, “The NDA, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is committed to restoring the glory of Punjab and the welfare of farmers, poor and the deprived.”
In the 2017 Punjab elections, Congress won 77 out of the 117 total seats. This landslide victory pushed the erstwhile ruling alliance between the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the BJP to third place with only 18 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came in second, winning 20 seats and forming the official opposition in Punjab.
However, a number of political developments in the state from then till now, including the widespread farmers' protests over three contentious agricultural laws, have resulted in shifting alliances and a reshuffle of key players ahead of the crucial polls this year.
Singh had resigned as the chief minister of Punjab in 2018 owing to differences with other members of the Congress and was succeeded by Charanjit Singh Channi. The former Army captain later formed a new political party, the Punjab Lok Congress, and said he would contest the forthcoming polls as part of the NDA in alliance with the BJP.
All 117 seats in the Punjab legislative assembly will go up for elections next month, with the polls to be held in a single phase on February 20. The votes will be counted on March 10, with the results being declared on the same day.