New Delhi: A final decision on ending the political uncertainty in Delhi will be taken by the Centre and BJP leadership after government formation in Maharashtra, party's Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay said today.
Dismissing criticism by Congress and Aam Aadmi Party that BJP was “running away” from facing fresh polls in Delhi, Upadhyay said his party was “fully ready” for election as it has continued to enjoy people's trust across the country.“Certain decisions will be taken after government formation in Maharashtra. The political situation will be clear soon,” Upadhyay told PTI.
He said announcement of bypolls by Election Commission to three assembly constituencies in Delhi does not mean that BJP was avoiding facing assembly polls in the city and maintained that it will get a clear majority in case fresh mandate is taken.
“By-election to three assembly seats is a constitutional requirement. It does not reflect BJP's views about assembly polls in Delhi. In fact, the Congress and AAP were not ready for polls,” he said.
Sources in BJP said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was not in favour of forming a government by BJP by “managing the numbers” and asked the Delhi leadership to prepare for fresh polls.
Upadhyay said BJP's victory in Maharashtra and Haryana have proved that party maintained its strong popularity among the masses and it was confident of people's support in Delhi too.
The Election Commission, yesterday, had announced bypolls on November 25 to three assembly constituencies—Krishna Nagar, Mehrauli and Tughlaqabad—which fell vacant after BJP MLAs were elected to Lok Sabha in the general elections. A number of Delhi BJP leaders said majority of the party workers were fully prepared to face election again. A senior leader said the party should refuse even if Lt Governor Najeeb Jung invites it to form government.
The Lt Governor last month had sent a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to invite the BJP to form a government in Delhi.
In the report, Jung gave a detailed analysis of the political situation and underlined the need to have an elected government in the city which is under President's rule since February 17 following resignation of the Aam Aadmi Party Government which was in power for 49 days.
The Centre is yet to respond to the Lt Governor's letter. The BJP has been maintaining that it will take a decision on government formation in Delhi after getting an invite from the Lt Governor.
In his report to Mukherjee, the Lt Governor said though no party has staked claim to form government in Delhi, BJP could be invited to take the reins as it is the single largest party in the assembly.
Jung observed that all options for putting in place an elected government should be explored before contemplating holding of fresh polls.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar on October 10 had submitted before a five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that Jung's proposal to the President was still under consideration.
He had informed the court that Centre's stand on government formation in Delhi will be known after Diwali.
The next date of hearing in the case is October 28. Currently BJP, along with ally Akali Dal's lone MLA, has 29 legislators and will require the support of five more MLAs to prove majority in the assembly.
The party had emerged the single largest party after the assembly polls in December last year with 32 seats including ally Akali Dal's one MLA in the 70-member House.
BJP fell four seats short of a simple majority and had refused to form government saying it did not have the numbers and will not resort to any “unfair means” to take the reins.
AAP with 28 MLAs had later formed the government with support of eight Congress MLAs.
BJP's number came down to 28 in the House in May after three of its legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pervesh Verma were elected to Lok Sabha.
The government led by Arvind Kejriwal had resigned on 14 February after the party's pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress.
President's Rule was imposed in Delhi on February 17. The Lt Governor had not favoured dissolution of the Delhi assembly as recommended by the council of ministers headed by Kejriwal and kept the assembly in suspended animation.
The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party have been demanding immediate dissolution of the assembly to pave way for holding of fresh election.
BJP leadership is busy with Maharashtra where it has emerged as the single largest party in the 288-member Assembly with 122 seats, but is short of majority. While NCP has already offered unconditional outside support by its 41 MLAs, back channel talks are on between BJP and its erstwhile ally Shiv Sena.
The BJP legislature party will meet in coming days to decide the Chief Minister.