Merely 10 days after the Delhi BJP announced that it would not stake claim to form a government and was ready to fight fresh elections, senior leader Jagdish Mukhi on Monday said not a single Delhi MLA was in favour of another Assembly elections in the capital.
Mukhi, who is being seen as a frontrunner for the chief minister’s post if BJP forms the government without going for elections, said after the Assembly elections in December last year and the Lok Sabha polls in April, the city could not afford a third election in such a short span of time.
“Not one of the 70 MLAs — from the different parties — want a fresh election. We could not spend a paisa after September on development projects. The estimates we prepared were lost; the projects we sanctioned were not given allotment letters — those given allotment letters could not start the work. The city cannot afford to got to another election,” Mukhi said.
Mukhi’s statement comes at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party — considered the BJP’s major opponent in the capital — has been demanding an explanation as to why the BJP does not want to contest fresh polls.
Asked about the AAP’s claim of the BJP evading elections, Mukhi blamed the AAP and Arvind Kejriwal for Delhi’s dilemma over elections.
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“Political parties fight elections to come to power so that they can work for the people. But, after coming to power, Kejriwal realised that he did not know anything about the functioning of a government. It is he who left Delhi without a government. He has no moral right to ask any party anything. Sometimes he wants the Assembly suspended, and at other times he wants elections. He is a confused man,” Mukhi said.
Asked whether prolonging President’s rule in Delhi was better than holding fresh elections in case BJP failed to form a government, Mukhi said, “The central leadership should take a decision soon in the interest of everyone. As far as I know, the decision will come soon — may be in a week or after August 9,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mukhi put the onus of government formation in Delhi on the Lieutenant-Governor. “It is his statutory duty to ensure that city gets a government. He should call all parties or one party to form the government,” the BJP leader said.
Mukhi’s meetings with the party’s top brass to discuss government formation in the capital has given rise to speculation about him emerging as the frontrunner for the post of the chief minister. But, asked if he thought of himself as the frontrunner for the post, Mukhi re-iterated that he is a party soldier who will follow all orders.
Claiming that the Congress and the AAP were hand in glove, he alleged, “Now why did the AAP not contest Assembly elections from other states? Why does it want to contest only from Delhi? The Congress had asked the AAP to contest elections from all over the country to damage BJP’s prospects. But both failed.”
“Our votebank is solid and intact. AAP will hurt the Congress, not us,” Mukhi said when asked if the AAP would affect the BJP’s vote share if fresh elections are held. Mukhi believes that Congress is facing losses after Sheila Dikshit, who was the Delhi CM for 15 years, left the capital.