After coalition fireworks, BJP-Akalis reach truce

May 13th, 2008 - 11:19 pm ICT by admin  

Chandigarh, May 13 (IANS) After keeping “all options open” Tuesday morning, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and ruling alliance partner Akali Dal reached a political truce by evening after poll-related violence Monday between workers of the alliance partners showed signs of rocking the 14-month-old Punjab government. Addressing a joint press conference Tuesday after a day of political tension between both sides in which the state BJP leadership even contemplated pulling out of the alliance government and give it only outside support, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and BJP central leader Balbir Punj said their differences had been sorted out.

To appease the upset state BJP leadership, the Punjab government ordered the suspension of two police officials in the border district of Tarn Taran. They have been charged with failure to take appropriate action when BJP’s Amritsar legislator Anil Joshi was attacked Sunday night by Akali Dal legislator Harmit Singh Sandhu and his supporters.

Akali workers fired at and injured BJP leaders, including Joshi near Daburjee town. The personal vehicle of the BJP legislator was set on fire by the Akali Dal workers.

Badal said the state government would take action against the deputy commissioner and district police chief of Tarn Taran.

He said the inspector general of police for border range has been asked to probe the violence against BJP workers.

The action came after the Punjab BJP leadership called an emergency meeting of all its ministers in the alliance government and legislators Tuesday.

Sources said the BJP ministers even offered to resign from the Badal government in wake of the violence against their workers by their alliance partners.

Angry BJP workers in Punjab’s Bathinda town damaged two private buses belonging to the Badal family. They also pulled down hoardings, banners and posters carrying pictures of Badal and his son, Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

After their meeting, the upset BJP leaders met Badal at his residence and demanded action. Badal persuaded them not to take any extreme action.

Following deliberations between leaders of both sides, a truce was worked out.

While the Akalis have 48 seats in the assembly, the BJP has 19 legislators. The Akalis cannot remain in power without BJP support in the 117-member assembly.

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