BJP waits for Lieutenant Governor’s word,AAP asks MLAs to brace for re-election

The BJP and AAP have said they were willing to sit in the opposition.

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Published: December 9, 2013 9:24:38 pm

A day after counting threw up a hung assembly in Delhi,the BJP said it was waiting to hear from the Lieutenant Governor to try and form a government since “natural course of justice should follow”. But that prospect,which seemed a distinct possibility early Monday when the AAP indicated it was open to a BJP minority government,started looking bleak later after Arvind Kejriwal and his team asked the party to prepare for re-election.

Both parties held meetings with their legislators in an attempt to chart a way forward but neither wanted to take the first step. In fact,the BJP and AAP have said they were willing to sit in the opposition.

AAP MLA from Patparganj and senior leader Manish Sisodia said,“The AAP is willing to sit in the opposition of the Delhi Assembly if the BJP wants to form a minority government. The AAP is firm about not giving or taking any support.”

But later in the evening,the AAP called a meeting which also included candidates and campaign managers who had lost. A party source indicated that the AAP was readying itself for another election.

“All elected legislators have been asked to stop celebrating and re-start their door-to-door campaigns so that they don’t lose focus,” senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh said.

AAP sources also said that the winners have been asked to speak to the 20 candidates who came second in their constituencies to improve their chances.

Meanwhile,BJP Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari said the party would try and form the government if called upon by the Lt Governor.

“It is a billion-dollar question. Everything will depend on Lt Governor Najeeb Jung,” Gadkari said. “We have not been intimated by the LG so far and we also feel that another election will burden the people. If the AAP wants to extend support,we will be happy to form the government but we will not approach AAP,” he said.

Even BJP MLAs,particularly those whose victory margin was less than 1,000 votes,concurred. “We would want any party to form the government because that will ensure we remain MLAs. We know how tough the fight was and the effort we put in to win these seats. A second contest would be difficult for most of us,” said one of the newly elected MLAs.

Another MLA said it would be “unfair” if there was to be a re-election.”Someone should ask the top brass of the AAP and BJP to form the government since we can’t afford another election. It will be a disservice to those who have voted,” he said.

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