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BJP refuses to stake claim, Delhi stares at Prez rule

Atul Mathur, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 09, 2013
First Published: 00:48 IST(9/12/2013) | Last Updated: 12:30 IST(10/12/2013)

Falling just four seats short of the magic figure, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — which emerged as the single largest party in the Delhi assembly — created a stir on Sunday evening, saying it would not stake the claim to form the government.

"We are not in a hurry to form the government. We are not going to get into any post-poll alliances. We will rather sit in the opposition," said Delhi BJP chief Vijay Goel, putting the ball in the Lieutenant-Governor’s court.

The BJP has won 32 seats, along with its ally the SAD(Badal), in the 70-member Delhi assembly.

With no other party in a position to muster enough numbers to form the government, with or without the support from the other party, the Lieutenant Governor will be left with no option but to recommend the President to keep the Assembly in suspended animation and implement President’s rule.

Your new MLAs

Political experts said since the mandate for Delhi was clearly in the favour of a clean and corruption-free governance, the saffron party would not do anything that could earn it wrath of the electorate.

"The BJP could have easily formed the government by managing to get outside support from some MLAs from the opposition parties during the show of strength in the assembly. It could also engineered a split in the Congress but a minority government could not have survived for too long. The BJP would lose the trust of the electorate and its support if chooses any of these paths," said constitution expert SK Sharma.

The experts said the party could not have engineered a split in AAP or the Congress due to the strict provisions under the amended anti-defection law.

The other option, said experts, with the L-G is to invite the Aam Aadmi Party to form the government. But the political greenhorn, which has emerged as the second largest party with 28 seats, has also refused to form the government, as it "does not have the mandate" for it.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has already made it clear that it will neither give nor take any support from the other two parties.

Traditionally, the electoral contests in Delhi have always been bi-polar contest with the BJP winning it once while the Congress making a hat-trick by winning all three elections between 1998 and 2008.

This is first time that a new political party entered the fray and made it a genuine three-cornered contest leading to a hung house.

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