The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Thursday forged an alliance with the BJP in Haryana and announced that it would not contest any of the 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state and instead extend support to the saffron party on all.
The parties, who are allies in the neighbouring Punjab, will also fight the Haryana Assembly elections, scheduled to take place later this year, together.
The development comes hours after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the fledgling Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) announced their alliance in the state for the May 12 Lok Sabha polls.
Last year, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had said the party would contest the parliamentary polls alone in Haryana.
Senior SAD leader and party in-charge for Haryana affairs, Balwinder Singh Bhunder said the decision to ally with the BJP was taken keeping in view the “need of the circumstance”.
“The common goal of the two parties is to see the return of the NDA government at the Centre,” Bhunder told PTI. “Our party chief Sukhbir Singh Badal held a meeting with BJP president Amit Shah a few days back wherein it was decided that our party would extend support to them,” he said.
In Narwana earlier in the day, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar described SAD as a “natural ally” of the BJP.