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BJP eyes Congress to form government in Delhi

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New Delhi, July 16 :

The BJP indicated Wednesday that it could form a government in Delhi amid indications that the eight Congress legislators were divided on who to prop up: the BJP or the AAP.

Satish Upadhyay, the new president of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Delhi, told the media that his party could consider government formation if Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung gave an invitation.

Satish Upadhyay, Delhi BJP chief
Satish Upadhyay, Delhi BJP chief

“We might consider it,” he said in brief remarks as speculation mounted that the political logjam in the capital might soon end.

“We will decide when the time comes,” added Jagdish Mukhi, a senior BJP leader after a meeting of party legislators.

The BJP won 31 of the 70 seats in the December 2013 assembly election in Delhi and the Aam Aadmi Party 28, ousting the Congress, which got only eight seats after being in power for 15 long years.

The AAP eventually formed a government with Congress backing but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resigned Feb 14 after failing to pass the Jan Lokpal bill.

Delhi came under President’s Rule Feb 17. The assembly is presently under suspended animation.

Three of the 31 BJP legislators in Delhi were elected in May to the Lok Sabha, bringing down its tally in the assembly to 28. The AAP’s strength is 27 after one of its legislators broke away months ago.

It is not clear how the BJP hopes to form a government. It enjoys the support of an Akali Dal member. It will still need the backing of at least five legislators for a simple majority in the assembly whose effective strength now is 67.

BJP sources seem confident that they will get the numbers, primarily from a demoralized Congress.

“There is nothing we can do if people want to leave the party,” a senior Congress leader told IANS.

However, Arvinder Singh Lovely, who heads the Congress in Delhi, insisted that no Congress legislator would go with the BJP or AAP.

Another Congress legislator, however, admitted on the condition of anonymity that some in his party were in touch with the AAP which they see as a better bet vis-a-vis the BJP.

Contacted by IANS, a senior AAP leader admitted that there had been talks of government formation between the AAP and Congress legislators.

The AAP, which has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking fresh elections, feels that it will make a move towards government formation only if it is sure that the Congress will back it once again.

Kejriwal has admitted that he made a mistake in resigning, and some AAP legislators have pleaded with him to explore the chances of again forming a government.

(IANS)