The Shiromani Akali Dal on Tuesday denied news reports that suggested it was unhappy with the National Democratic Alliance’s choice of candidate for the upcoming election to the post of Rajya Sabha deputy chairperson on Thursday.
“There is nothing like this, we are not standing apart from NDA,” Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra told ANI. “Neither we requested our candidate nor the BJP had any disagreement with us, these are all rumours.”
Akali Dal MP Sukhdev S Dhindsa said the party does not have a problem with Harivansh’s candidature as the “JD(U) is our friend”, reported ANI. “But first they told our candidate Naresh Gujral to prepare,” he added. “He was preparing and suddenly they nominated JD(U)’s candidate without informing us.”
On Monday, reports said the Shiromani Akali Dal may abstain from voting. The party has three lawmakers in Rajya Sabha. The post of the deputy chairman has been lying vacant since PJ Kurien retired in June.
While the BJP-led NDA has not officially announced its candidate, unidentified party officials told PTI said first-time parliamentarian Harivansh of the Janata Dal (United) is likely to be its candidate. The Shiromani Akali Dal was reportedly lobbying for its MP Naresh Gujral, reported The Tribune.