SAD used CAA as 'bargaining chip' for securing political gains, says Capt Amarinder

Chandigarh [India], Jan 31 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday lashed out at the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), accusing it of "bartering away" the constitutional principles to promote their political interest over the statement made on supporting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Delhi Assembly polls.

Reacting to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal's latest statement that the party had thrown its weight behind the BJP in Delhi, the Chief Minister said these flip-flops had nailed the Akali lies on their stand on the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Referring to Sukhbir's explanation for the U-turn, that the miscommunications between the two parties had been sorted out, Singh demanded to know whether the BJP had agreed to amending the CAA in line with SAD's earlier stand, or the Akalis had once again surrendered themselves to the BJP at the cost of the nation's interest.

"You owe an explanation to the people," he told Sukhbir, castigating him for the SAD's stand on CAA.

"The SAD's decision to backtrack on its earlier stand to extend its support to BJP in Delhi just a week before the scheduled polls indicated that they had used CAA as a bargaining chip to secure some political gains," said the Chief Minister.

This development, he said, clearly exposed the Akalis' selfish intentions and the Badal family's desperation to hold on to power as part of the ruling alliance at the Centre.

"Rather than quit the ruling NDA, which would have been the right thing to do after claiming not to support CAA without the inclusion of Muslims, Sukhbir had chosen to stay with the BJP, whatever the cost for the people of India," the Chief Minister said.

Singh asserted that the SAD's 'U-turn' in Delhi had also further accentuated the divide within the Akalis, which appeared to be on the verge of another split. He added that the party was clearly a divided House and no longer capable of giving a political fight on its own, which had become evident in Haryana.

"Obviously, they need the BJP to hand-hold them on the political ladder, especially in view of the fact that elections in Punjab are just two years away and they have no political leg to stand on, he said. No wonder Sukhbir had been constrained to clarify, just two days ago, that the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab was intact," the Chief Minister said. (ANI)