‘None of the BJP MLAs want elections now’

The party is five legislators short of majority to form the government

Updated - November 16, 2021 06:14 pm IST

Published - September 06, 2014 09:55 am IST - NEW DELHI:

With the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top leadership divided on whether the party should try to make up the numbers if it is invited to form the government or decline like it did after the Delhi Assembly elections last December, the State unit chief Satish Upadhyay said the party “will critically analyse the situation and take a call if invited to form the government and that none of the BJP MLAs wanted polls now”.

Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday sent a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to call the BJP, the single largest party in the Delhi Assembly, to take a shot at power though it is short of a majority in the House. With the Capital under President’s Rule since February, Mr. Jung is believed to have provided a detailed analysis of the political situation in the city and underlined the need for an elected government and observed that all options should be explored before contemplating fresh polls.

On Friday, Mr. Upadhyay met senior BJP leaders, including Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, to discuss the party’s options here. “We have to analyse if we are in a position to form government. The BJP is also ready to go in for elections if there is a decision of holding elections in Delhi,” said Mr. Upadhyay, after the meeting with the central leaders.

The BJP, which has 29 legislators in the Delhi Assembly, is five legislators short of a majority. Both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party are pointing fingers at the BJP stating explicitly that it does not have the numbers to stake claim to form the government.

The BJP had won 32 seats in the 70-member Assembly, along with its ally Akali Dali’s one MLA, but the number of BJP MLAs came down to 28 as three party legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pravesh Verma had resigned from the Assembly after they were elected to Lok Sabha. With the strength of the Assembly now down to 67, the BJP will require support of at least five more MLAs to reach the majority mark of 34 to prove its majority in the House.

While the House also has one independent — Rambir Shokeen — who has extended unconditional support to the BJP, the lone JD(U) MLA Shoaib Iqbal has said he will not support the party.

With the Congress and the AAP both demanding fresh elections, the BJP has continued to maintain that it will explore options if asked to form the government. “Though his party does not have majority, it will explore formation of a minority government if invited by the L-G,” Mr. Upadhyay said on Friday morning.

Sources said the Centre could communicate its opinion soon as the next hearing in the case filed by the AAP before the Supreme Court, challenging the President’s Rule, is listed for September 9.

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