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BJP firm on not forming minority govt

Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 10, 2013
First Published: 00:35 IST(10/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:39 IST(10/12/2013)

Even as the prospect of President's Rule looms large over Delhi, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which emerged as the single largest party in the Assembly elections, on Monday refused to approach the Lieutenant Governor to form the government. 

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The BJP rank and file on Monday reiterated that they would be happy to sit in the Opposition benches rather than form a minority government or indulge in horse trading to reach the magic figure of 36 seats.

Party leaders are also busy planning strategies on how to handle the situation in case the Lt Governor invites them to form a government.

Sources said the party would decline any such offer.

"The political scenario is charged up and taking the support of others may evoke negative reaction. With general elections scheduled for next year, the party is not willing to take any chance," said a senior BJP leader.

The chief ministerial candidate of the BJP is also not willing to form a minority government or go for any alliance.

"Even if I decide to go ahead and claim stake to form the government, I would have 37 candidates who are against me. How can a government function in such a manner? I am very clear that I will not make any attempt to form the government," said Harsh Vardhan, the ENT specialist whom the BJP had projected as their chief ministerial candidate.

Party sources said a meeting was held late on Sunday night at Delhi election in-charge Nitin Gadkari's residence where senior leaders had said they would not want to take any decision which might backfire.

"The party is considering the option of giving the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress a chance to form the government if they are willing to do so," said another senior leader.

A small section in the party, however, is of the view that in case Lt Governor Najeeb Jung invited them they should examine the option and not let the opportunity go by.

A meeting of all the elected MLAs would be held on Tuesday where Vardhan would be declared as the party's leader.

"We will consider the views of all the MLAs but the party is very clear that it will neither ask for anyone's support nor will it lend it to anyone. If anyone else wants to form a government, we will sit in the Opposition," said Vijay Goel, the BJP state unit president.

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