By Pragya Kaushika, New Delhi, Sept 26: Clouds loom over negotiations between the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) allies -- Bharatiya Janata Party and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) as the lone Akali Dal MLA -- Balkaur Singh in Haryana -- joined the saffron outfit on Thursday evening.
The move came as a surprise to even the SAD whose leaders are currently in talks with senior BJP leadership regarding the alliance for the ensuing Assembly polls in the state.

Singh's joining BJP is likely to cause a major embarrassment for the Akalis, who have been vying for an alliance in the state.

The murmurs over alliance with SAD -- to have it or not -- remained a topic of discussion among the senior BJP leaders in the party associated with Haryana.

Till late afternoon, the SAD did not have an inkling that its MLA had jumped the ship ahead of the polls.

When contacted, a senior leader of SAD told ANI "I have no information that our MLA is joining the BJP. Till today, the information we have is that both parties are still working out the alliance."

Singh was the lone SAD MLA in the state who had won on its ticket from Kalanwali Assembly constituency. Polling in Haryana is scheduled to take place on October 21, while the counting of votes will place on October 24.

Speaking to ANI on the issue of the alliance, the SAD MLA, who joined the BJP today, said "If the alliance is happening, they would have negotiated with me already."

When asked about the alliance, Subhash Barala, Haryana BJP chief, said that the last call will be taken by the top brass of both the parties.

"It now up to top leadership of both parties," stated Barala.

It is learnt that the SAD was demanding at least five seats for itself in the coming polls.

After securing an unprecedented 10 seats in Haryana in the recently concluded Lok Sabha polls, the state BJP unit feels that it is well on target to achieve the two-thirds majority in the 90-member legislature on its own, thus massively improving upon its 2014 Assembly poll when it had won 49 seats.

In 2014 Assembly polls too, the two NDA partners -- BJP and SAD -- had decided to contest the polls separately. SAD had chosen to support Om Prakash Chautala-led Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). However, the SAD severed its ties with the INLD in 2017.

(Posted on 27 September 2019, 1680166775 34O239O173O144)