Rumblings in political parties in focus in Punjab

Growing friction between ruling alliance partners Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP, infighting within opposition Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party making inroads in Punjab's political scene kept the state in focus in 2014.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 14, 2014, 15:01 PM IST

Chandigarh: Growing friction between ruling alliance partners Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP, infighting within opposition Congress, and the Aam Aadmi Party making inroads in Punjab's political scene kept the state in focus in 2014.

The second consecutive term of Parkash Singh Badal led SAD-BJP alliance government witnessed souring of relations between the two "oldest" allies, which had an adverse impact on governance in the otherwise vibrant Punjab.

After Narendra Modi's charisma brought BJP at the Centre and in neighbouring Haryana as well, saffron party leaders in Punjab, who have always complained of being sidelined by the Akalis, started asserting their presence in the state.

Upping its ante after the Modi wave turned the tide in BJP's favour, the RSS started spreading its wings in rural areas of the state considered to be the bastions of Akalis.

The year saw several incidents which led to friction between the two allies SAD and BJP.

In June, senior BJP leader Balramji Dass Tandon, now a governor, had questioned Badal's decision to meet Prime Minister Modi without any saffron party leader over the issue of Punjabis stuck in Iraq.

Even as BJP leaders felt sidelined, Badal maintained that as head of the state, the chief minister can meet the Prime Minister and Union Minister anytime as the sole motive of these meetings is to ensure welfare and development of the state.

With the issue yet to die down, another incident followed where SAD strongly opposed BJP MLA Anil Joshi, who is also a cabinet minister, for politicising the matter of Punjab government deciding on rollback of advance tax on stock and issue of fee on Change of Land Use (CLU) in the state.

Prior to this, Akalis had attacked BJP MLA and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Navjot Kaur, wife of former MP Navjot Singh, for demanding SAD minister Bikram Singh Majithia's resignation over BJP candidate and now Union minister Arun Jaitley's defeat in Lok Sabha polls from Amritsar seat at the hands of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.