The BJP’s focus may shift to Delhi after its stunning victory in Haryana and Maharasthtra, but the party is still undecided on whether to cash in on the wins and go to the polls or form a government with some rebel MLAs.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is expected to soon spell out his decision on Delhi which has been without a government since the Aam Admi Party (AAP) stepped down in February.
“We are waiting for the L-G’s response. We will apply our mind on this after getting an invitation from him,” said a senior BJP leader.
One section of the BJP feels the party should face fresh polls in Delhi after the Haryana and Maharashtra results reinforced a continuing Modi wave.
But another section believes the situation in Delhi is different from Maharashtra and Haryana where the government faced strong anti-incumbency. The Congress-NCP combine was in power in Maharasthtra for 15 years while the Congress ruled Haryana for 10 years.
Some party leaders believe the Aam Admi Party’s (AAP) popularity may not have waned even though it did not win a single seat in Delhi in the last Lok Sabha election. Although the middle class swung to the BJP in the general election, there are no signs yet that the AAP’s core middle and lower class base has abandoned the party yet.
The Lok Sabha victory tempted the BJP to consider a fresh poll in Delhi instead of forming a government with the support of rebels from the Congress, but the AAP’s higher vote share in the general election and lack of a chief ministerial face triggered second thoughts.
The AAP increased its vote share in the Lok Sabha poll by 3.4% cent over its assembly figures, while the BJP’s gain between these two polls was a whopping 13.3%. Party leaders attributed the jump to what they called the “‘Modi magic”.
The BJP has 28 MLAs in the Delhi assembly, whose effective strength has been reduced to 67. It Along with a lone Shiromani Akali Dal MLA, it is counting on the support of two independent legislators and a couple of others from the Congress to form a government.