The Bharatiya Janata Party in Punjab will contest on 65 assembly seats, the Punjab Lok Congress on 37 seats and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Sanyukt on 17 seats, BJP chief J P Nadda said on Monday as he announced the seat-sharing agreement between his party and its allies for the February 20 state polls.
Nadda said Punjab is a border state and security is a very important issue as far as assembly elections are concerned.
Hailing Punjab as a "leader", especially in defence and food security of the country, he said, "Today Punjab needs special attention, it needs a double engine government and a better coordination between the Centre and the state."
Nadda announced the seat-sharing agreement at a press conference here at the BJP headquarters in the presence of Punjab Lok Congress supremo Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal-Sanyukt Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
"I am announcing a broader seat sharing agreement, BJP will contest on 65 seats, PLC on 37 seats and SAD-Sanyukt on 15 seats," Nadda said.
Speaking at the same conference, Singh said for the sake of national security and welfare of the state, all three parties have come together.
Expressing concern about the threat to the "hard earned" peace of Punjab, Singh said a large number of weapons for carrying out nefarious activities are coming into Punjab.
"During the course of my last four-and-half-years as Punjab chief minister, at least 1,000 rifles, 500 pistols, RDX, lakhs of rounds of ammunition were caught at the borders. The weapons were also dropped using drones... They were meant for carrying out some nefarious activity," Singh said.
Taking on his bete-noire and Congress' Punjab unit chief Navjot Sidhu, Singh said, "Our bravehearts are fighting Pakistan at the borders. Yet, Sidhu wants to hug it out with the enemy."
Singh was referring to Sidhu hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa during the oath taking ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.
After resigning from Punjab chief ministership, Singh quit the Congress and floated his own party Punjab Lok Congress and forged alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt).
The BJP's is paying the role of senior partner in the alliance in Punjab, where it had always played second fiddle in its more than two-decade long alliance with the Shiromani Akali Dal.
Elections for 117 seats in Punjab will be held in single phase on February 20. Punjab is likely to see a five-cornered contest this election between the farmers' political outfit, the BJP and its allies, the Congress, the AAP and the SAD.