Delhi could be heading for assembly polls this winter as the BJP has reconciled itself to the fact that the possibility of forming a government in the Capital was remote. Winter is being considered appropriate for holding the polls as prices of vegetables will normalise by then with arrival of fresh crops.
In the autumn of 1998, the BJP lost power to the Congress after an uproar over high onion prices. Last year, Sheila Dikshit was seen fighting a battle to keep onion and vegetable prices under control just before the December 4 elections. The Congress won only eight seats, BJP got 31 and AAP garnered 28.
A senior government functionary said the Delhi polls can be held in January-February just before the one year President’s rule in Delhi ends. Unlike other states, the Centre can impose President’s rule for one year in Delhi under the NCT Act.
The BJP leaders admit the time isn’t conducive to holding polls as parts of the city are facing power problems and vegetable prices are skyrocketing, sparking fear that an election now could boomerang.
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“Seeking dissolution would mean polls in September-October. This is the time when vegetable prices would be very high. Our opponents may use this to their advantage,” a BJP leader said. This could be a possible reason why the party is not seeking dissolution of Delhi assembly — kept in suspended animation since Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister in February.
More than that, Delhi BJP needs more time to find a new point man. The state unit has been facing a leadership crisis after its CM-face Harsh Vardhan was inducted into the council of ministers and his return to state politics is ruled out. Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel and Janakpuri MLA Jagadish Mukhi are front runners but lack support from the party’s central leadership.