The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party, on Tuesday, said that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) should have consulted them before finalising the Rajya Sabha deputy chairman candidate.
SAD leader Sukhdev S Dhindsa claimed that the party was earlier told by the BJP-led NDA to keep their Member of Parliament Naresh Gujral prepared for a contest for the post. However, the NDA candidate was later changed to Janata Dal (United) leader Harivansh Narayan Singh. Dhindsa claimed that the NDA amended their decision without consulting the SAD.
“We don’t have any problem with the JD(U) candidate, but they first told our candidate Naresh Gujral to prepare. He was preparing and suddenly they nominated the JD(U) candidate without informing us. We have kept another meeting of the party on the issue at 6 pm today,” Dhindsa told the media after an internal party meeting of the party over the issue.
Other SAD leaders, however, downplayed the news of the party being disillusioned with the selection procedure of the candidate. “There is nothing like this, we are not standing apart from the NDA. Neither we requested our candidate nor the BJP had any disagreement with us, these are all rumours,” another SAD leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said.
Comments of SAD leaders started pouring in following speculative reports that the party might abstain from the deputy chairman’s election slated on Thursday.