Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said his party remained a permanent partner of the BJP and the NDA.
“The SAD is a permanent ally of the BJP and the NDA,” Badal said after Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah’s meeting with top Akali Dal leaders, including party’s patriarch Parkash Singh Badal.
He said SAD members discussed strategy for the upcoming 2019 parliamentary polls with Shah.
The SAD is a key partner in the BJP-lead National Democratic Alliance and the two parties shared power in Punjab before the Congress won the February 2017 assembly elections.
Sukhbir Singh Badal appealed to the NDA allies to come together to contest the next year’s elections.
“The time has come for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls… all NDA allies must come together to fight the opposition,” he said.
Shah tweeted after the meeting, “It is always a delight to meet Badal Sahab. Met Shri Parkash Singh Badal ji and Sukhbir at his home in Chandigarh.”
Later, Shah held a meeting with the Punjab BJP unit to discuss election strategy for 2019.
Shah was on a day-long visit to Chandigarh, as part of his party’s outreach programme ‘sampark for samarthan’ (contact for support) ahead of the 2019 elections.
On Wednesday, he met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai.
Senior SAD leaders Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura (all MPs), Daljeet Singh Cheema, Bikram Singh Majithia attended a meeting with him.
Also present were BJP leaders Madan Mohan Mittal, Manoranjan Kalia, Ashwini Sharma and Rajinder Bhandari.
Shah was also scheduled to visit 94-year-old hockey legend Balbir Singh and legendary athlete Milkha Singh (85) at their Chandigarh homes later in the day.
Earlier, on his arrival at the airport, Shah was welcomed by BJP members, including Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and party leader Swaran Salaria.
The BJP launched the ‘sampark for samarthan’ exercise to mark the fourth anniversary of the Narendra Modi government.
The party said around 4,000 functionaries, including chief ministers and Union ministers, will contact one lakh people to inform them about the government’s achievements.
In August last year, Shah was on a three-day visit to Haryana.
He had held a series of meetings and reviewed projects undertaken by the Manohar Lal Khattar government.
The BJP chief had also visited Chandigarh in May last year.