Badal downplays Sidhu issue, says no rift between BJP, SAD
Chandigarh: After meeting with BJP President Rajnath Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Tuesday said there is no problem between the allies.
Badal sought to play down BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu`s recent outbursts against the SAD leadership, saying, "There is no problem, no problem at all."
He said that the relations between the SAD and BJP were "as strong as ever" and the two allies shared deep bonds.
He was interacting with reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
Rajnath Singh along with senior leaders of the BJP met him at his residence last evening.
When asked that he had refused to meet Sidhu yesterday, Badal said the question did not arise as no meeting was fixed.
"I was not supposed to come to Punjab Bhawan (the venue where Rajnath Singh was holding a meeting with the party`s core groups of the northern states). There was a pre-fixed programme that Rajnath ji will come in the evening to meet me, which he did," Badal said.
Sidhu did not accompany the BJP leaders to Badal`s residence when they went to meet the Chief Minister here last evening.
He said there was no truth in the reports that he had refused to meet Sidhu, which was said to be the reason why BJP leaders did not take him along.
"No, I haven`t refused to meet him," he said.
When asked that senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar had met him here this morning in connection with the Sidhu issue, Badal said, "we keep meeting daily, we have brotherly relations with the BJP, we keep regularly meeting with each other."
When asked that differences had cropped up between the two allies over Sidhu`s recent outbursts, Badal said, "there is no problem. Be it BJP workers, their leaders or MLAs or MPs, there never has and never will be any differences".
Asked that after the Sidhu`s charge, he had accused him of joining with the opposition Congress in targeting the Akali government, Badal pleaded "I will request you (media) to stop this (controversy over Sidhu)".
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