Dikshit sticks to her position on Delhi govt formation issue

Dikshit sticks to her position on Delhi govt formation issue

Undeterred by attack from within Congress for her comments on government formation in Delhi, Sheila Dikshit today stuck to her position, saying she did not back BJP's bid to power and was only explaining the "factual and constitutional" provision on the issue.

The former Delhi Chief Minister, who had led Congress to victories in assembly polls in Delhi in 1998, 2003 and 2009, maintained that it will not be wrong to invite BJP to form the government if the Lt Governor feels it has the numbers.

Asked how BJP can form a government as both Congress and Aam Aadmi Party had ruled out support to it, Dikshit said it was for BJP to get the numbers.

"It is for them (BJP) to get the numbers. It is not our job. What I said was factual and constitutional," Dikshit told PTI in an interview.

The former Chief Minister, who was made to resign as Kerala Governor last month, said she cannot think of backing BJP and was only explaining norms and rules.

"If they have the numbers, that's the only way they can form a government. Its not about my supporting or anybody supporting them. The Lt governor has to be satisfied that they have a majority and only then they can form a government.
"If invited, they will have to prove their majority in the assembly. I stated the facts," she said.

Dikshit's comments on Wednesday that BJP should be given an opportunity to form the government created political ripples with Congress criticising her while BJP had welcomed it.

Asked about Congress' criticism of her for the comments, Dikshit said the party, probably, did not understand what she stated.

"I think they did not understand it. I was stating a purely constitutional requirement. I said BJP can form a government like AAP had formed a government when we gave them the suppport from the outside. "It is the case everywhere, be it Parliament or state assemblies," she said.

When asked what will be the option if BJP could not get the required numbers, Dikshit said in that situation fresh elections will have to be held.

Congress had distanced itself from Dikshit's "shocking" statement on formation of government by BJP, saying it was her personal view and did not represent the party's stand.

Congress as well as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been demanding immediate dissolution of the Delhi assembly and holding of fresh polls. Dikshit's comments favouring formation of government by BJP had come when the party was facing severe embarrassment after AAP alleged that a senior leader of the saffron party's city unit offered a bribe of Rs four crore to one of its MLAs for switching sides.

Asked whether she will return to active politics, Dikshit refused to give a direct answer. The former Delhi Chief Minister indicated that she was not keen to return to Delhi politics, saying the young generation should take the lead in taking forward Congress.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung earlier this month had sent a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to call the single largest party to take a shot at power though it is well short of majority in the assembly.

In his report, Jung gave a detailed analysis of the political situation in the city and underlined the need to have an elected government for Delhi which has been under President's Rule since February 17 following resignation of the AAP government.

AAP and Congress had come down hard on Jung for his report and accused him of promoting "horse-trading". BJP, along with its ally Akali Dal's one MLA, has 29 MLAs in the assembly and it will require support of five more legislators to prove majority in the House of 67.

AAP and Congress have been fuming over Lt Governor's communication to the President to seek permission to invite BJP, terming it as "unconstitutional".

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