“All options are open. The option of forming a BJP government is open. The option of supporting somebody is also open. The option of joining some government is also open… All three options are open,” he told reporters as results showed that BJP will be second largest party in the state after PDP.
BJP’s decision will also depend on initiatives taken by other parties, he said.
The party’s Parliamentary Board in its meeting tomorrow will weigh its options in the state and also deliberate on its chief ministerial candidate in Jharkhand, where it is set to form the government, Shah said.
The shock loss of party leader and former chief minister Arjun Munda has further thrown open the leadership issue in Jharkhand.
While the J&K Assembly election result has returned a hung verdict, BJP with its ally AJSU is close to cross the magic number of 41 in the 81-member Jharkhand House.
In the 87-member J&K Assembly, the latest wins and lead tally of PDP, BJP and NC was 28, 25 and 15 respectively.
A visibly-delighted Shah termed the results an endorsement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and his government’s development work since he assumed office in May.
“The poll verdict is a lesson for those who oppose our government’s agenda of development and change,” he said, in a dig at Opposition parties who have tried to corner the government in Parliament over conversion issue.
“BJP has increased its seats from 18 in 2009 to 41 this time in Jharkhand. In J and K, our seats have increased from 11 in 2008 to 25… We have received the maximum percentage of votes in the state,” he said.
BJP has emerged as a relevant democratic force in J&K, he said.
Asked what will be BJP’s stand on Article 370 if it joins hands with either PDP or NC to form a government, Shah said it will decide on the issue by talking with other parties.
The saffron party has often sought repeal of the article, which gives the Muslim-majority state a special status, contending that it prevents it from joining the national mainstream.
The BJP president also assured people of Jharkhand that BJP will run a “good government” in the state, saying it will fulfil its promise of state’s development if it gets a majority.
Asked if the state will have its first non-tribal chief minister, he parried the query, saying the Parliamentary Board will decide on the issue.
Noting the poor performance of main Opposition Congress in all state elections held since BJP came to power in May, he said the saffron party was moving in the right direction to fulfil its agenda of ‘Congress-mukt (Congress-free)’ India.
“Congress is either in third or fourth position in these states. We are getting nearer to our goal of Congress-mukt India,” he said.
Congress has been relegated to fourth place in J&K while it came third in Jharkhand. It had also come third in the recent Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections.
Shah said people in Jharkhand have also rejected Janata Parivar unity efforts, adding the alliance of Congress, JD(U) and RJD there has been reduced to a single digit tally.
He attributed the party’s impressive performance in four state assembly elections this year since it was voted to power in Lok Sabha polls to people’s faith in Modi’s development agenda.
“It’s been a year of unprecedented success for BJP. It is due to Modi’s work and people’s love and belief in him…,” he said.