A view within the BJP, that it will fall short of majority in case elections in Delhi are held now, has prompted the party to fast-track the initiative to form the government with the help of some disgruntled legislators from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
BJP sources pointed that much has changed during the past nearly two months since Narendra Modi took over as the prime minister of the country on May 26 and the party might not be able to repeat its Lok Sabha performance in Delhi.
The BJP had won all the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi, and led in 60 of the total 70 assembly segments in the city state.
There is a perception that the BJP’s popularity among people in Delhi has gone down due to some harsh decisions, including increasing fuel prices, taken by the Modi government and its inability to check food and vegetable price rises.
This, a section in the BJP believes, has led to a surge in AAP’s popularity in the capital whose 27 legislators and volunteers have resumed contact with the people. Some AAP legislators have raised people-centric issues such as no policy on public expenditure in more than 10,000 group housing societies in Delhi and termination of services of temporary teachers in government schools.
Holding of mohalla sabhas (corner meetings) have also gone down well with the people while the BJP and Congress legislators have been found missing.
The apparent resurgence of the AAP due to its silent work on the ground had forced a section within the BJP to do a U-turn on the government formation. Since results of Delhi elections were announced in December 2013, the BJP has all along maintained that it does not have the required numbers to form the government.
But at the same time, it has opposed the dissolution of the house. In fact, both the Congress and the BJP opposed the move in their respective affidavits filed in the Supreme Court on an AAP petition seeking dissolution of the Delhi assembly.
The fear that the BJP may poach its legislators has also forced a re-think in the Congress as it demanded fresh polls in Delhi. “BJP can stoop to any low to gain power. They can even resort to horse-trading. Why are they afraid of holding fresh polls?” asked party spokesperson Shobha Oza.