Friday, Sep 19, 2014

BJP leaders meet to discuss party prospects in Delhi polls

A supporter arrives at BJP president Rajnath Singh’s residence in the capital on Monday to congratulate him for the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. ( Source: Praveen Khanna ) A supporter arrives at BJP president Rajnath Singh’s residence in the capital on Monday to congratulate him for the party’s victory in the Lok Sabha elections. (Express photo: Praveen Khanna )
Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Posted: May 20, 2014 2:17 am | Updated: May 20, 2014 8:30 am

BJP national president Rajnath Singh on Monday held an hour-long meeting with Delhi leaders to discuss the possibility of re-elections in the capital.

Present in the meeting were former party leaders O P Kohli, Vijay Goel, V K Malhotra, Prabhat Jha, Delhi unit chief Harsh Vardhan and general secretary of the party’s Delhi unit Vijay Sharma.

According to sources, the leaders deliberated on the present political situation in the city and the pros and cons of holding fresh elections.

“The possibility of holding fresh elections in coming October was discussed. It was concluded that there will be elections, though no consensus was reached regarding the timing. Holding of elections can be stretched latest to February,” a senior leader said.

One of the leaders even suggested that if Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs break away from the party to form a separate group and promise support to the BJP, the BJP should consider the offer.

“There are reports that AAP expects to form the government with Congress support again,” one of the leaders said during the meeting.

However, most BJP leaders refused to entertain the idea, saying that the AAP members would create  trouble for the BJP if the latter accepted their support to form the government. “Governance, with support from AAP MLAs, will become a nightmare and will beat the purpose of forming the government,” another leader argued.

The increased vote share of the AAP from nearly every Assembly seat during the Lok Sabha elections too is a concern for the party.

“During the meeting, discussions were held on Assembly seats that the BJP lost. The BJP recognises that AAP is the main competition in the capital, and hence, there was major discussion on how to wrest those seats back from the AAP. After AAP’s debacle in the Lok Sabha polls, they will concentrate their energies on the Delhi re-elections, where they feel they can perform better. Early polls may help the BJP as we do not want to face anti-incumbency,” another senior leader present in the meeting said.

Sources said Delhi BJP leaders have been told to prepare for polls in their respective areas. However, leaders said the elections in Delhi will be held only after the process of government formation at the Centre is over.

Delhi BJP chief and MP from Chandni Chowk, Harsh Vardhan, said, “We are ready for re-elections and we have maintained that we will not indulge in horse-trading. We have maintained high moral standards. If the AAP forms the government with Congress support, it will be akin to committing a  huge sin. AAP was the one that went to court continued…

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