BJP eyes absenteeism to form government in Delhi?

New Delhi, July 17 :

Is the BJP having a rethink on its earlier hopes of luring disgruntled Congress legislators to join its ranks to form a government in Delhi?

Days after it was speculated that the BJP was trying to lure six of the eight Congress legislators, a section in the party now feels that this is not the ideal way to take power in the capital.

Some in the Bharatiya Janata Party think that if some Congress or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members stay away from the assembly when a likely trust vote is taken, the BJP will sail through.

The BJP now has 28 members in the 70-member house after three of its legislators got elected to the Lok Sabha in May. It also has the support of a lone Akali Dal member.

Delhi Assembly
Delhi Assembly

In a house with an effective strength of 67, the BJP and the Akali Dal will need the backing of five more legislators.

BJP sources said that mustering the support of three legislators, including an independent, will not be a difficult task.

With the AAP’s 27 legislators reportedly sticking together, BJP leaders had said privately in recent days that they were confident of luring four to six Congress legislators.

But party sources told IANS Thursday that senior leader Nitin Gadkari wanted Delhi unit president Satish Upadhyay not to try break any party to cobble a majority in the legislature.

These sources feel that if Lt Governor Najeeb Jung invites the BJP to form a government, the BJP will expect some from the opposition to absent themselves during a trust vote, thus bringing down the numbers needed to secure a majority.

“We want to stake claim but we don’t want to indulge in horse trading. There are other options,” a senior party leader told IANS.

“If some Congress or AAP member abstains from voting during the floor test, we will have a minority government in place,” he added.

Another party source said rumours of the BJP shaking hands with Congress legislators to form a government will dent its image.

The BJP won 31 seats in the December 2013 election in Delhi and the AAP 28, ousting the Congress, which got eight seats after being in power for 15 long years. One AAP member later broke ranks.

The AAP eventually formed a government with Congress backing but Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal resigned Feb 14 after failing to pass the Jan Lokpal bill.

Delhi came under President’s Rule Feb 17. The assembly is presently under suspended animation.


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