Cong, BJP cannot ignore regional parties: Badal

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Chandigarh, Jul 15 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today stated that neither the Congress nor the BJP could form the government at the Centre without the support of the regional parties.

" The role of regional parties have grown over the years and would continue to grow", he said while addressing a Meet the Press programme at the Chandigarh Press Club here.

Elaborating further, he said that the regional parties had become popular because they understood the problems of their respective areas or states better that national parties. Each state or region had its own problems which a national party main not understand, he added.

The problems in the country had arise mainly due the fact that the government here was unitary in nature, he added. The Akali Dal had always supported a federal set up, he said while pointing out that several problems related to Punjab had never been properly addressed as the central governments never understood these.

Replying to a question, Mr Badal said that his party was ready for the Lok Sabha polls. The elections will be held before the due time, he predicted while pointing out that circumstances lead to polls.

Asked about a possibility of a Third Front emerging before the next Lok Sabha elections, Mr Badal quipped, " this Front emerges and then vanishes". Political parties join and leave this Front, he added.

Regarding the possibility of an alliance with the BSP, Mr Badal made it clear that the SAD was a 'pakka saathi' (strong ally) of the BJP.

UNI HS BK1532

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