Chandigarh: Tension seemed to be brewing within the National Democratic Alliance after Shiromani Akali Dal went all out to support the Indian National Lok Dal instead of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Haryana Assembly elections.
SAD led by Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Badal is BJP's alliance partner in Punjab.
The Badals insisted that they had longstanding ties with the Chautalas and had informed the BJP leadership of their support to the INLD despite knowing how important it was for the BJP to win Haryana.
The BJP won 47 seats in the 90-member House in Haryana and INLD managed to win just 20 seats.
While addressing a rally at Sirsa, Sukhbir Badal said, "SAD, INLD are together contesting 90 seats. The next government will be that of Om Prakash Chautala."
The tension between the two parties soon rose to the surface. Former BJP MP Navjot Sidhu hit out at the political positioning of the SAD in Haryana.
Sidhu said, "These people are the same who hug and kiss BJP in Punjab and wrestle with it in Haryana. With what face does our alliance partner in Punjab support a imprisoned person to become the CM of Haryana?"
Other BJP leaders in Punjab have also begun to say that the party should distance itself from the SAD and contest the 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab on its own. The Punjab BJP unit though maintains that the party will decide on its alliance with the SAD at the appropriate time.
Punjab BJP President Kamal Sharma said, "Yes BJP has become stronger under Modi. Our alliance with the SAD is strong. We will cross the bridge when we come to it."
The Akali Dal has denied any rift saying ties with the BJP are as solid as ever.
Punjab Minister Bikram Majithia said, "BJP and SAD have a very deep relationship. We were the first in supporting Modi to become to the PM. This relationship will stay together."
The BJP has been the minor partner in the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab. With 12 seats in the 117-member Assembly, hitting the 59 mark to form the government on its own in 2017 might be a challenge. However, the results of the Haryana elections where the BJP went from 4 seats to 47 to form a majority government may prophesize a favourable outcome for the party in Punjab.