Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party is in talks with the Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Speaking at the Times Global Business Summit in New Delhi, the BJP leader said that although nothing has been finalised, the two parties are holding discussions.

“We always want our alliance to grow and we always welcome new allies,” he said. “Our ideology has remained the same since the days of Jan Sangh. Those who like to join us can come.”

The Shiromani Akali Dal had been a member of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance since 1996. However, the party left the alliance in 2020 after the BJP government introduced the now-repealed three farm laws.

In 2022, the Shiromani Akali Dal contested Assembly elections in Punjab in alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party. The Sukhbir Singh Badal-led party won only three out of 117 seats.

Punjab has a total of 13 Lok Sabha seats. On Saturday, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal said his party will not form any seat-sharing alliance with its INDIA bloc ally Congress in the state.