Two days after Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung told The Indian Express that government formation in Delhi was a possibility without dissolving the existing House, state BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said his party was “open to all options”.
This a complete departure from the stand taken by his predecessor and now Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who had said that the BJP would go for fresh polls rather than rustle up numbers for government formation.
Asked if the BJP was ready to form the government amid allegations of horse trading by the AAP, Upadhyay said, “We do not have numbers at present, but we will take a decision which will benefit the people. We have taken the opinion of MPs and MLAs, which is very vital for any decision-making process.”
Party sources said MLAs and some of the MPs are in favour of the BJP forming the government. “We have been telling our leaders that we should form the government in Delhi but there is a mixed response from the top brass. Until they give us a clear signal, we cannot take a step forward. If the party brass agrees, we will form the government,” a senior BJP MLA said.
But sources said if the party brass had been in favour of BJP forming the government in Delhi, a decision to this effect would have come a week ago and the BJP would have staked its claim on government by now. BJP MLA from Rajinder Nagar R P Singh said there was no question of forming a government and the party was ready for fresh elections in Delhi.
“Nothing is hidden from anyone as far as Delhi is concerned. Everyone heard the L-G’s statement and I would say that at this point, all options are open for the BJP. Whether we will form the government or go for fresh elections, or continue with the President’s rule is yet to be seen. Who will form the government in Delhi, I do not know,” Upadhyay said.
Upadhyay also said the hunt for a new legislature party leader had begun. The leader of legislature party will also be the party’s CM candidate. “We have discussed the issue of electing the leader of the legislature party and the process has begun,” he said. While some believe that MLA Jagdish Mukhi stands a chance of becoming the CM candidate, many others said there would be a tough fight on hand as there were other claimants to the coveted post as well.