Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: In a massive twist, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has formed an alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) for the upcoming 117-member assembly elections in Punjab that will be held next year.

As per media reports, the BSP will contest on 18 to 20 seats while the Akali Dal is expected to field candidates on the rest of the constituencies. The two parties, however, will make an announcement regarding the alliance on Saturday.

The Akali Dal, the oldest member of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), had ended its alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) amid difference over the contentious farm laws that were passed by the Parliament last year.

Akali Dal supremo Sukhbir Singh Badal had blamed the "stubborn" attitude of the central government behind pulling out of the NDA alliance and asserted that his party would always support the farmers.

However, political experts had claimed that Akali Dal's decision to leave the BJP could hamper its chance in the upcoming assembly elections in Punjab. Looking at the party's dire situation, Sukhbir Singh Badal had announced earlier this week that the Akali Dal is open for a pre-poll alliance with parties other than Congress, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and BJP.

"We are open to alliances with other parties minus Congress, BJP and AAP. We cannot align with these parties. We will form alliances and we are open to others. No chance to go with BJP at all," the senior Badal had said while speaking to news agency ANI.

Meanwhile, Akali Dal's decision to ally with the BSP could prove to be a blessing for Mayawati, whose party has nearly been eradicated at the national level and is struggling even in Uttar Pradesh.

The assembly election in Punjab will likely be held in February or March next year. The term of the current assembly will expire on March 27, 2022.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma