Chandigarh: The irony in Haryana's election battleground, is the BJP and the AkaliDal - staunch allies at the Centre - are pitted against each other.
It started with the Haryana BJP ending its alliance with Om PrakashChautala's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), and contesting all 90 seats. Now, in at least twoconstituencies, its fighting the Akali Dal - still an INLD ally.
The joke is that they are ignoring each other. "We are not even takingAkali Dal into consideration. Our direct fight is with the Congress,"says Anil Wig, the BJP candidate in Ambala. The Akali Dal candidateCharanjit Kaur has a similar perspective: "We are fighting theCongress. BJP is not in picture."
It gets trickier - the Haryana BJP's manifesto is aggressive over theSutlej-Yamuna water dispute with Punjab, where Akali Dal's anti-Haryanastance is clear - and where both parties swear by their alliance.
Senior BJP Leader Arun Jaitley offers a clarification: "The Akali Dalis still a part of NDA. In Haryana, we have different strategies but nodifferences. In Punjab and at the national level, we are still workingtogether."