Fight not over yet for BJP, Congress

Last Updated 13 April 2014, 19:13 IST

The political focus in the capital has now shifted from Lok Sabha polls to the possible Assembly polls with both the BJP and the Congress expected to indicate to the Supreme Court their willingness to go in for a fresh mandate.

The apex court is scheduled to hold the next hearing on April 17 on the Aam Aadmi Party’s petition seeking dissolution of the Assembly and fresh elections.

BJP sources said despite a strong showing in the Lok Sabha polls, the party’s strategist expect AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal to get public sympathy in the fresh Assembly polls. 

“Fresh polls seem inevitable. The AAP may get some sympathy but we will fight to the best of capability to get a clear majority,” said a BJP leader, who admitted the party’s edge over the AAP in Lok Sabha poll may be lost in a contest for picking a new Assembly. 

Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan said: “The decision to hold fresh elections has to be taken by the president. We are poll ready and will follow the direction by the president.”

A BJP leader said the Assembly elections could either be held in the coming two-three months as these may be clubbed by the Election Commission with polls in other states.

In May-June, Assembly polls are to be held in Sikkim, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.  The term of Haryana Assembly ends in October, in Arunachal Pradesh it ends in November and in Maharashtra it ends in December. 

After the December 4, 2013 elections, the Delhi Assembly has been kept under suspended animation since Arvind Kejriwal government resigned on February 14.

The BJP and its ally Akali Dal have 32 seats, the AAP has 27 seats, the Congress has eight seats and there are three others in the 70-member House.

Congress leaders said the party is likely to convey to the Supreme Court that it would not oppose holding of Assembly election as the Lok Sabha polls were now out of its way. 

Chief spokesman of Delhi Congress Mukesh Sharma said his party was ready for election any time. “We are ready for election. Rahul Gandhi's rally in South Delhi proved that Congress has regained its lost ground. The Delhi Congress wants early Assembly election,” Sharma said.

“Delhi realised that the AAP was misleading them. We are not in a position to form the government, therefore, we are ready to face the electorate again on the plank of development,” he added.

The apex court on March 31 gave two weeks to both the BJP and Congress to make their stand clear whether any of them is in a position to stake claim to form the government in the national capital. 

(Published 13 April 2014, 19:06 IST)

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