The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday declined to form a government in Delhi citing “lack of a clear mandate”. It would sit in the opposition keeping in view the party’s “high moral traditions”. After a 45-minute meeting with Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, BJP leader Harsh Vardhan told reporters: “Since we do not have a clear mandate, we are not in a position to form the government.” The L-G invited the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party in this month’s Assembly elections, to discuss the process of government-formation.

“We conveyed to him that we do not have enough seats, and in view of the lack of a clear mandate the party would like to sit in opposition,” said Dr. Vardhan. He gave it in writing to Mr. Jung.

After the BJP declined, Mr. Jung invited Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal to meet him on Saturday for discussions. The BJP, along with its ally the Shiromani Akali Dal which has one seat, has 32 MLAs in the 70-member Assembly. The AAP is the second largest party with 28 seats, followed by the Congress with eight seats.

Dr. Vardhan said that if any other party was interested in forming a government it was welcome to do so.

But his party cannot be held responsible for the consequences of the fractured mandate that could push the capital to fresh elections.

In his letter to Mr. Jung, Dr. Vardhan said: “We wanted to bring smiles on faces of Delhi residents after the Assembly elections, but that could not happen as we fell short of majority by four seats,” he added.

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