The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday refuted claims from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that it was trying to poach the latter’s MLAs to achieve a simple majority in the Delhi legislative assembly instead of going to fresh polls.
The BJP’s Delhi in-charge Prabhat Jha said some of the AAP legislators who were upset with Kejriwal had approached them to offer support. “Their MLAs are fed up of Arvind Kejriwal and are trying to leave the party. Some of them have approached us. To hide this, Kejriwal has been spreading rumours,” Jha said.
An AAP spokesperson said the party remained steady with its claim. “We demand that the BJP should immediately stop its low-level politics. The assembly should immediately be dissolved and elections should be declared,” the spokesperson said.
Union minister for transport and shipping Nitin Gadkari, who was closely associated with the party affairs in the capital ahead of assembly elections brushed aside AAP’s claims, saying the party had not taken a decision on forming the government in Delhi.
Gadkari had convened a meeting of key BJP legislators to get their views on government formation. “But he got caught up with the ministry work and hence the meeting could not take place,” said a senior BJP leader.
Sources in the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) indicated there was a lack of consensus to arrive at a possible chief ministerial (CM) candidate.Some in the RSS were also uncomfortable with the scenario of forming a government with turncoat MLAs from the AAP or the Congress and have pushed for fresh elections.
For the post of CM, along with earlier contenders Rambir Singh Bidhuri (Badarpur MLA) and Jagdish Mukhi (Janakpuri MLA), Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel and former Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta have also jumped into the fray albeit with some resistance. The infighting over its CM choice has already become more intense causing massive heartburns in the party last year, forcing the central leadership to entrust former party president Nitin Gadkari with the responsibility to bring the warring factions together.