After SC, BJP praises Jung's efforts now

Party says ready to face fresh elections

The Delhi BJP has welcomed the Supreme Court’s appreciation of the efforts being made by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to explore possibilities of government formation in the city.

Sources said the party leaders were hoping to hear from Jung in the coming days and claimed there was “positivity” in the party on the issue of giving Delhiites an efficient and responsible government.

Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said he would refrain from commenting on the court observation  but certainly “there is a positive movement in the direction of exploring government formation possibilities”.

“We will follow all directions of the Lieutenant Governor and President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue,” he said.

Upadhyay, who revamped the city unit of the party on Wednesday, said the BJP was ready for fresh elections.

“If the Lieutenant Governor advises us to seek a fresh mandate we would do so,” he said.

“There are no two views on the need to give an elected government to the people of Delhi,” he said, adding that whenever Jung asks the BJP the party will share its views with Jung on how to safeguard the interest of the people.  

During the hearing on the Aam Aadmi Party’s plea to dissolve the Assembly, the court hinted that a minority government could be the way out of the deadlock in the hung Assembly.The judges put off the hearing till November 11.

Sources in the BJP said the court’s observation on minority government has shown a ray of hope to the saffron party.

A BJP legislator said: “The AAP with 28 MLAs formed a minority government in December last year in an attempt to save the city from another round of elections. The BJP has support of 29 MLAs and is almost in a similar position as the one in which the AAP formed the government.”

“We know some of the MLAs from all parties do not want to face fresh elections. May be such legislators may support an effort to save the city from a fresh election,” he said. “At least 14 first-time MLAs from all parties are not very keen to face fresh elections,” he added.

According to Sandeep Dikshit, former Congress MP from East Delhi, any delay in dissolution of the Assembly and holding fresh polls may promote horse-trading.
“We know from experience that such a situation promotes unethical practices,” he said.  
Conducting a fresh Assembly election may cost the exchequer around Rs 50 crore. This is apart from the crores of rupees the candidates may spend on campaigning.

Also, a fresh election at this juncture will bring in the poll code and apply brakes on all new projects that the central government has lined up for making Delhi a smart city, said a BJP leader.

The 70-member Delhi Assembly’s current strength is 67. It has been under suspended animation since February 17 after the AAP government resigned. 

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