Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan formally elected as leader of legislature party

Unable to garner a simple majority and not wanting to employ any “immoral means”, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday made clear its reluctance to form the government in Delhi, two days after poll results threw up a hung Assembly scenario. The party high command has also given clear instructions to workers to get ready to face re-elections after the new entrant, the Aam Aadmi Party, ate into the BJP’s vote share leaving its plans in disarray.

Meanwhile, the party’s chief ministerial candidate, Harsh Vardhan, was formally elected as the leader of the legislature party at the first sitting of 31 elected representatives from the BJP and one SAD legislator at the Delhi BJP headquarters. The proposal to name Dr. Vardhan was moved by senior leader Jagdish Mukhi and was unanimously accepted by all legislators.

“We realise that we have fallen short of the simple majority. Whether we form the government or not, we will continue serving the people and whatever responsibility we have been given we will uphold that with sincerity,” said Dr. Vardhan, after being elected to the post.

However, Dr. Vardhan told reporters: “It is a sad situation for us and residents of Delhi but due to present technicalities, government cannot be formed with a fractured mandate. We don’t have enough numbers to form a stable government and we are ready to fight the election once again if such a situation arises.”

Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel also reiterated the party’s line of not wanting to indulge in any manipulation to form the government. “As we have not got a majority, we have decided not to form the government by any horse trading or illegal means,” he said, adding that the party was ready to sit in the Opposition and also ready to face elections.

Asked whether the legislators are ready for re-elections, senior leader Prof. Mukhi said: “I feel that every politician should always be ready to go back to elections. How can an MLA say he is not ready? I am a soldier of the party and we stand by the party. We will support any decision taken by the party high command.” Dr. Vardhan also confirmed that the Lieutenant-Governor of Delhi had not yet approached the BJP to form the government.

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