New Delhi: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday decided to withdraw itself from contesting in the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections over differences with its ally BJP regarding the Centre’s implementation of contentious Citizenship law as well as the nationwide NRC (National Register of Citizens).

Addressing a press conference, SAD spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa alleged that the amendment to Citizenship Act was supposed to include people from all religions.

“SAD and BJP have an old relationship, but after stand by Sukhbir Badal Ji on CAA which was to include people from all religions, BJP leadership wanted us to reconsider this stand. So, we decided to not fight these polls instead of changing our stand,” Sirsa said.

Asserting the party’s stand on the Centre’s move, he furthered, “Shiromani Akali Dal also believes that the National Register of Citizens should not be implemented. We welcomed the CAA but we never demanded that anyone religion be excluded from this Act.”

The SAD leader went on to say that the party is against laws, like the NRC, “which makes people stand in queues and prove their credentials”.

“This is a great nation and there is no space for communalism,” Sirsa added.

The SAD announced its withdrawal from the upcoming Delhi polls just a few days after the BJP announced its list of contestants and did not have even a single name mentioned from the party. BJP announced tickets in 57 seats in the national capital, including contestants from ally JD(U) and LJP, however, ten seats remained unannounced.

Delhi goes to polls on February 8, anticipating a tough battle between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the BJP. The counting of votes is scheduled to take place on February 11.