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BJP MLAs do not want to run risk of a re-election

Nivedita Khandekar and Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 12, 2013
First Published: 00:25 IST(12/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:39 IST(12/12/2013)

As the deadlock over government formation shows no sign of resolution, both the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) camps offer a contrasting picture when it comes to going in for a re-election.

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Confident that AAP will get overwhelming support and increase its seat share, a number of MLAs from the rookie party said they were ready for re-election.

In contrast, most BJP MLAs said it was important to retain the seat rather than risk a re-poll.

However, 26 of the 32 BJP MLAs that HT spoke to maintained it was their personal opinion and all of them were ready to toe the party line.

“We won seats by a very narrow margin. There is no guarantee that we will be able to retain those seats in case of a re-election. So having another poll is not  practical,” said a BJP MLA, on condition of anonymity.

Sunday threw up a hung assembly in Delhi with BJP winning 32 seats with partner Akali Dal, while AAP won 28 seats relegating the incumbent Congress to just 8 seats in the 70-member house. In the absence of a simple majority, both BJP and AAP declined to form a government.

 “We have spent a lot of money on campaigning. If elections are held again, the same amount of money would have to be generated. So financially too, it is not a viable solution, “ said another BJP MLA.

“Why can’t AAP form a government with Congress’ unconditional support? What is stopping them? Re-elections will not serve any purpose. Why cause losses for the public, considering they have chosen us for five years and not for six months,” said a BJP MLA.

The AAP legislators offered a different argument.

Vinod Kumar Binny, AAP MLA from Laxmi Nagar, said, “If the Congress’ support is unconditional, then why does it not offer it to BJP? Both BJP and Congress can join hands.”

 Another AAP MLA, who did not wish to be named, said, “The actual expenditure boils down to just `4.5 per person.”

“There is no Rahul or Modi wave, in fact, the wave will now be more for a government which is pro-people and anti-corruption,” AAP’s Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti said.

Established parties like BJP use traditional methods of campaigning unlike AAP which relied on social media. BJP MLAs feel that it would be time consuming and entail a lot of expenditure.

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