Bharatiya Janata Party, Aam Aadmi Party prepare for fresh polls as logjam continues

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SummaryThere was no breakthrough in formation of a govt with both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Admi Party (AAP) refusing to budge.

Two days after elections threw a hung verdict in Delhi, there was no breakthrough in formation of a government with both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Aam Admi Party (AAP) refusing to budge from their rigid stand of sitting in the opposition and saying that they would prefer fresh polls to end the logjam.

In a meeting, senior leaders in BJP told its 31 newly-elected MLAs to get ready for election in next few months while AAP's Arvind Kejriwal announced that his party was ready to seek people's mandate again.

After he was formally elected leader of the legislature party, BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan said the party did not have the numbers and that it was ready to face elections.

"We don't have enough numbers to form a stable government and we are ready to fight the election once again, if such a situation arises," Vardhan told reporters after the first meeting of the newly-elected legislators.

BJP, along with its ally Akali Dal's one seat, has 32 MLAs in the 70-member House while AAP has got 28 seats followed by Congress' eight. JD-U has won one seat while the Mundka seat has gone to an Independent.

Kejriwal, after a meeting with top AAP leaders, also announced that the party was ready for fresh election and said as the single largest party, BJP should form the government and take support from Congress.

"We are ready for it (re-election). At present, we will neither take nor extend support to either BJP or Congress to form the government. But unlike this election, next election would be contested between BJP and AAP, as Congress has lost

badly," he said.

"BJP has been given the mandate. It is the single largest party. So it should try and form the government taking support of Congress," he said.

Meanwhile the Election Commission today notified results of the Assembly polls in Delhi, paving the way for start of the formal process of government formation by the Lt Governor.

Jung is now expected to call BJP to form the government. If BJP declines the offer, then Jung may ask AAP if it was willing to explore the possibility of government formation.

In case AAP also refuses to take the offer, then the Lt Governor may be left with little option but to recommend central rule.

As both BJP and AAP have announced that they would prefer sitting in the opposition, chances of President's Rule have become brighter.

If President's Rule is imposed, then the Lt Governor will run the government with the help of a group of advisors.

Sources said Lt Governor held consultations with number of experts on the current scenario.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said the onus is on BJP as the single largest party followed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to form the new government. He said the Centre will not interfere in the present logjam.

"What can we do? We will have to wait and watch.... We cannot do anything. Whatever is to be done, has to be done by the two parties (BJP and AAP)," Shinde said when asked about government formation in Delhi.

Responding to questions at his monthly press conference, Shinde said his Ministry has not received any communication from the office of the Delhi LG on the subject.

"The Delhi LG office has only sent resignation of the former Chief Minister (Sheila Dikshit)," he said. Earlier in the day, Kejriwal termed as personal reported comments by party leader Prashant Bhushan that AAP may consider supporting BJP.

"There is no question of supporting BJP. What Prashant said yesterday was his personal opinion," he tweeted.

Bhushan had last night told a TV channel that AAP may consider supporting BJP if the party gives AAP in writing that it will pass the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The noted lawyer himself clarified today that what he had said last night was in a rhetorical context.

"What I said was in a rhetorical context. I meant that if BJP becomes like AAP and does those things which AAP has been formed for and AAP believes in, then we can think of supporting them.

"But this is not possible because these parties can never become like AAP," he told reporters today.

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