Chandigarh, Aug 12: With differences cropping up between both parties, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal and its alliance partner in the government, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on Tuesday announced the setting up of a state coordination committee.
“Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today (Tuesday) constituted a six-member state coordination committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party to further streamline the day-to-day functioning and cooperation between the alliance partners,” Akali Dal general secretary Harcharan Bains said here.
The committee will include Akali Dal senior vice president Ranjit Singh Brahampura, secretary general and former union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder (all from Akali Dal). From the BJP side the members will be Pathankot legislator Ashwani Sharma and senior BJP leaders Narottam Dev Ratti and Rajinder Bhandari.
“Similar committees will also be set up at all the district headquarters shortly for enhanced coordination at the grassroots level,” Bains said.
Both parties, whose alliance is nearly four decades old, have been in government since 2007 in Punjab.
In recent months, BJP leaders have criticised the Badal government and the Akali Dal, among other things, on the issue of imposition of taxes on traders. BJP minister in the Badal government, Anil Joshi, took on the Akali Dal leadership and got an equal response in statements from them.
The BJP leadership has been upset following the defeat of now union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley from the Amritsar seat in the recent Lok Sabha elections. Jaitley lost by over one lakh votes to Congress leader Amarinder Singh, leaving the Akali Dal and BJP embarrassed.
BJP legislator and chief parliamentary secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu, wife of former MP and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh, has also openly criticised the government on certain issues in recent months.