BJP’s General Secretary for Punjab Tarun Chugh has announced that the Bhartiya Janata Party is gearing up to contest all 117 seats in Punjab Assembly elections on its own in 2022.
BJP’s long-term ally in Punjab Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) broke its association with NDA over the farm laws around two months ago. Chugh said that the party is building up the groundwork to contest all seats. He said, “BJP is strengthening its organisation on a war footing to contest all 117 Assembly seats in Punjab.”
Ten new district offices in Punjab
BJP President Jagat Prakash Nadda will virtually inaugurate ten district offices in Punjab on November 19. BJP has allied with SAD for more than two decades. As SAD was the senior partner in the alliance, it got a significant chunk of seats. While SAD had contested 94 out of 117 Assembly seats and 10 out of 13 Lok Sabha seats over the years, BJP got only 23 Assembly seats and 3 Lok Sabha seats.
The breakup over farm laws
In September 2020, SAD announced that they are breaking alliance with NDA over three new agriculture sector reform laws named Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance, and Farm Service Act, 2020, and The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. SAD MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal resigned from her post of Union Minister, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, on September 17, marking her opposition over the new laws. PM Modi had came down heavily on the parties opposing the farm laws on September 18 and said those who had kept farmers tied to restrictions for decades now lying about agricultural reforms.
Poor elections performance of SAD-BJP alliance in 2017 and 2019
In Punjab State Assembly Election 2017, the SAD-BJP alliance had performed poorly and won only 18 seats, with SAD willing on 15 and BJP winning on 3 seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, SAD-BJP alliance managed to win only 4 out of 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.