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Rift surfaces among farmers’ factions in Punjab, BJP alliance likely to benefit

Rajewal-And-Chaduni.webp

Talks between the Rajewal-led Sanyukt Samaj Morcha and the Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha for an alliance in the Punjab polls have broken down over the number of seats each is willing to leave for the other

A rift that has surfaced between Balbir Singh Rajewal and Gurnam Singh Chaduni, the two big names which emerged from the year-long farmers’ agitation against the three controversial farm laws is likely to benefit the BJP and Captain Amarinder Singh alliance in the Punjab assembly elections. 

The talks between the Rajewal-led Sanyukt Samaj Morcha and the Chaduni-led Sanyukt Sangharsh Morcha for an alliance in the Punjab polls have broken down over the number of seats each is willing to leave for the other. 

The two leaders have decided to contest the forthcoming Punjab elections independent of each other which is bound to divide the rural Sikh vote bank between them.

Chaduni in a web TV interview on Thursday said that he was seeking 25 seats for his outfit while the Rajewal faction offered only 9 seats which led to the breaking of talks.

Both the leaders have decided to put candidates on all the 117 Assembly seats in Punjab.

Any victory for the staunchly anti-BJP farm fronts would strengthen the opposition ranks as they are open for an alliance with AAP.

On the other hand, AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday that Rajewal was demanding 60 seats from AAP for striking an alliance though he was willing to spare 15 seats.

Kejriwal admitted that farmers' outfits would cut into AAP votes to some extent.

With farmers coming out to contest elections, the political arithmetic of all the traditional parties, too, has been affected. All of them have been supporting the farmers' agitation with an eye on the rural votes.

As per rough estimates farmers, farm labourers, Dalits and others who are dependent on agriculture constitute 60 percent vote in Punjab and the urban Hindus constitute 40 percent vote.

A major loss is expected to be suffered by the Akali Dal which claims to be the only party representing the Sikhs mainly in the rural areas. Congress too has been supporting the farmers agitation and is expected to suffer a setback but in case of BJP, the situation is different.

BJP's strength lies in the urban Hindu vote bank which remains unaffected by the farmers coming into fray.

Also read: Congress plunges into deep turmoil ahead of Punjab polls as Sidhu and Channi are at loggerheads over CM’s post