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With Delhi staring at a hung Assembly, the BJP and AAP, which have emerged as the two largest parties, refused to blink and were posturing much of Monday.
BJP Delhi in-charge Nitin Gadkari said the party, the largest with 32 seats, was waiting to hear from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to try and form a government since “natural course of justice should follow”.
But the AAP, the second largest party with 28 seats in a 70-member House, was in no hurry, debating whether or not to prop up a minority BJP government by providing “issue-based” support.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who called a meeting of elected MLAs, said there was no question of backing or seeking support for government formation. He said his party was ready to sit in opposition. At the same time, he indicated he was not averse to re-election.
Sanjay Singh, an AAP leader, said: “All elected legislators have been asked to stop celebrating and re-start their door-to-door campaigns so that they don’t lose focus.”
But senior AAP leader Prashant Bhushan opened a minority government debate when he told The Indian Express “if the BJP gives us a written commitment that they will pass the Jan Lokpal Bill as we have drafted it by December 29, and will do the things that the AAP wants, then we will consider allowing their government to be formed and will not pull it down”.
At the same time, Bhushan said “it was a rhetorical statement, that if they give a written statement agreeing to do everything that AAP wants, we will consider supporting them... It is practically out of the question, given the nature of their party.”
Meanwhile, Gadkari said the BJP would try and form the government if called upon by the Lt Governor.
“Everything will depend on Lt Governor Najeeb Jung,” Gadkari said. “We have not been intimated by the L-G so far and we also feel that another election will burden the people. If the AAP wants to extend support, we will be happy to form the government but we will not approach AAP,” he said.
Even BJP MLAs, particularly those whose victory margin was less than 1,000 votes, concurred. “We would want any party to form the government because that will ensure we remain MLAs. We know how tough the fight was and the effort we put in to win these seats. A