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Delhi is all set to come under President’s rule with the Aam Aadmi Party on Friday declaring it will not stake claim to form the government when it meets the lieutenant governor on Saturday.
The announcement came a day after the BJP, the largest party in the newly elected assembly with 32 seats, declined L-G Najeeb Jung’s invitation to form the government, citing lack of numbers. The L-G then invited AAP, the second largest party with 28 seats. A party needs at least 36 seats in the 70-strong House to form a stable government.
After a meeting of AAP’s political affairs committee, spokesperson Manish Sisodia told HT, “We cannot form a government with just 28 seats. We will neither give support to anyone, nor take support. Tomorrow, when we meet the L-G, we will convey the same to him.”
The BJP’s Delhi chief, Vijay Goel, reiterated his party’s willingness to sit in the opposition and provide constructive cooperation to an AAP government.
“AAP made many promises, including reducing power tariff by 50% and providing free water up to 700 litres per day. If AAP is serious about fulfilling these promises, it should form the government. We will provide whatever cooperation is required,” he said.
The Congress, a distant third with eight seats, has also offered to back AAP with party leader Shakeel Ahmed even writing to the L-G offering unconditional outside support to AAP if they decide to form the government.
Both the Congress and BJP claim that if AAP does not form the government, it will be clear that it wasn’t serious about fulfilling its promises. The AAP maintains that taking direct or indirect support from either party will be a “betrayal of trust” of Delhi’s voters.
Party leader Yogendra Yadav also said AAP had forced other parties to change their strategy “by not staking claim, contrary to the earlier practice to form government by hook or by crook”.