Delhi appeared to be staring at President’s rule and subsequent re-elections for its 70-member assembly as the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Thursday told Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung it would not form a government in the absence of a simple majority. The Aam Aadmi party (AAP) too made clear its intention of not staking claim to form the government.
Sunday had thrown up a hung assembly in Delhi with the BJP winning 32 seats with partner Akali Dal, while the AAP won 28 seats, relegating the incumbent Congress to just eight seats.
After meeting the Lieutenant Governor on Thursday evening, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan said his party refused the L-G’s invitation to form a government as it did not have requisite numbers. He said the party would prefer to occupy the Opposition benches instead.
The L-G later invited the AAP, the second largest party, to form the government.
“We have been invited tomorrow, but as Arvind (Kejriwal) is not keeping well, we have asked for time till Saturday,” AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia said.
After his 45-minute meeting with Jung, Vardhan said the BJP was ready for re-elections in Delhi.
“We apologise to people for failing to act on their mandate, but we are helpless. We got the highest seats, a clear indication that we are the first choice of the people of Delhi.
Unfortunately, we don’t even have a simple majority. If Delhi is headed for a re-poll then we shouldn’t be blamed for it. We are absolutely ready for re-polling,” he said.
When asked whether the party will approach the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for support, Vardhan said there was no question of such a move as the AAP had already stated that they would not ally with any party.
Earlier in the day, the BJP held a meeting with all 70 candidates, winners and losers, asking them to be ready for re-elections.