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BJP ally SAD to stay off Delhi poll fray


New Delhi: The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act seems to have taken a toll on BJP ties with long-standing ally Shiromani Akali Dal of Punjab, with the latter choosing not to jump into the Delhi Assembly election fray over alleged disagreement over CAA stand.

After two days of effort by both parties to convince each other over the contentious issues, the SAD has declared that it will choose to stay away from the elections.

The Akalis are not only opposed to the nationwide National Register of Citizens, they wants the central government -- of which they are part of -- to also include the Muslims in the CAA.

Sources said the BJP offered the SAD three seat but it refused to climb down from its position on the CAA and NRC. As per the 2011 Census, Delhi has 4.43 per cent of its population that practices Sikh religion. The Sikh community has quite a few pockets of influence in the national capital.

IANS reported earlier in the day that the BJP had kept aside two seats for Janata Dal-United and one for Lok Janshakti Party, none was earmarked for the Akalis.

The absence of SAD from the poll fray will come as a relief for the BJP as National Democratic Alliance votes will likely not get divided. The SAD presence would also have given the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress a chance to target the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Delhi will go to polls on February 8 and results out on February 11.



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