The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday announced its alliance with the Bahujan Samaj Party to contest the Assembly elections in Punjab next year, ANI reported. The Sukhbir Singh Badal-led party had quit the ruling National Democratic Alliance at the Centre in September 2020 to oppose the three farm laws.

The Bahujan Samaj Party, which has a considerable influence over the 31% Dalit votes in the state, will contest 20 of the 117 seats. The remaining 97 seats have been allotted to Shiromani Akali Dal.

Badal said it was a “new day in Punjab politics”. Both the parties are joining hands 27 years after the 1996 Lok Sabha elections. In that poll, the alliance had won 11 of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab. The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party had won all the three seats it contested, while Akali Dal had bagged eight of the 10 seats.