Opposition parties hail Akalis’ NDA exit, Congress not enthused

Led by NCP chief Sharad Pawar, several opposition members on Sunday hailed SAD for quitting NDA over the farm bills and thanked the Akalis for snapping their ties with BJP.

In a tweet, Pawar congratulated SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and his wife and former Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal “who under the leadership of Hon Shri Parkash Singh Badal” pulled out of NDA. “Thanks for firmly standing with the Farmers!” the NCP chief said.

NCP’s ally in the Maharashtra government, Shiv Sena, too, “appreciated” SAD’s decision to quit NDA in the interest of farmers. Sena’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut said his party and SAD used to be the “strong pillars of NDA and without them I don’t consider the alliance as NDA any longer”.

TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien backed Badal and his party for their stand and tweeted that fighting for farmers ‘is part of Trinamool DNA’. Badal tweeted back thanking O’Brien and said TMC’s stand against the farm bills in Parliament is ‘well known’.

Another opposition party, BJD, which had backed NDA on policies like demonetisation, triple talaq and CAA but opposed the farm bills in RS, said it respected SAD’s decision to walk out of NDA.

RJD’s RS MP Manoj Jha said it was BJP’s “egoistic attitude” that forced its oldest ally, SAD, to part ways with NDA.

However, while several opposition parties welcomed SAD’s move, Punjab PCC president Sunil Jakhar said the Akalis were “desperately” hoping for some rapprochement with BJP till the last minute but the senior ally ‘saw through their game’.

“Fearing farmers’ wrath on the one hand and being equally scared of antagonising the Prime Minister on the other, Akalis were caught between a rock and a hard place and tried to do a balancing act,” the Punjab Congress chief said on Sunday.

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