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BJP okay with rivals staking claim

india Updated: Dec 13, 2013 00:55 IST
HT Correspondent
Bharatiya Janata Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday declined the Lt-Governor’s invitation to form government but maintained that it had no objection if any other party wanted to stake claim. The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan went on to say that his party would support any such move that would benefit Delhiites.

“I have told the Lt.-Governor that since we don’t have majority, it would be better for us to sit in the Opposition. But if any other party can form the government, they are welcome to do so,” said Vardhan.

He maintained that if re-elections were to be held, the BJP was confident of getting a majority and forming government.

When asked why the party was in the favour of re-elections, Vardhan said: “After forming the government, we have to prove majority within seven days. And we know we don’t have the numbers now and we won’t indulge in horse-trading or any form of manipulation. We are not to be blamed if the circumstances are taking us towards re-elections.”

However, when asked whether the party would support the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), he said that the Arvind Kejriwal-led party had already clarified that it would not take or seek support from anyone.

Earlier in the day, the state unit president, Vijay Goel, had indicated that he was open to talks with AAP, which won 28 seats in the 70-member Assembly. “If AAP gives us a proposal, we’ll definitely think about it,” he said.

When asked if the Congress would support AAP, party vice-president Rahul Gandhi said it was under consideration.

The BJP leadership held a meeting with all 70 candidates, winners and losers, asking them to be ready for re-elections, and asked them to change their strategy this time and be more aggressive while countering AAP. A number of MLAs want the state unit to make clear its stand on AAP, as many feel the party needs to be more aggressive. “All the candidates have been asked to look at the policies of AAP and go out and inform the public,” said a BJP leader.