BJP’s former ally SAD to back Droupadi Murmu in presidential polls

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Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh

The BJP’s former ally Shiromani Akali Dal on Friday said it will support NDA candidate Droupadi Murmu in the presidential elections. The decision was taken by the party a day after BJP president J P Nadda reached out to SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal to seek support for Murmu. The SAD had snapped ties with the BJP over the now-withdrawn farm laws.

Addressing the media here, Badal said, “We have unanimously decided to support Droupadi Murmu for the post of the President.”

Citing issues of farm laws and the release of Sikh prisoners, Badal said his party has “many differences with the BJP” but the SAD always worked for the poor and weaker section of society.

“This issue is of a woman who belongs to a poor family and she is getting an opportunity to become the President,” he said.

“Keeping our political differences aside, we have decided to choose the right path. The SAD’s history says that it always fought for the poor, minorities and the weaker section. After considering for almost three hours, we (in the core committee meeting) unanimously decided that we will support Murmuji,” said Badal.

The SAD chief said Nadda had called him on Thursday to seek support for Murmu. He said Murmu, a tribal leader from Odisha, also called him for his party’s support.

The SAD had parted ways with the NDA in 2020 over the issue of three farm laws, which were later repealed. Harsimrat Kaur Badal had also resigned from the post of a Union minister over the same issue.

SAD president Badal is an MP from Ferozepur while his wife Harsimrat represents Bathinda parliamentary seat. The SAD has three members in the state Assembly.

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