Power struggle is back in Delhi, yet again. Yes, efforts are on one more time to cobble up a government, literally by any means - if we go by AAP`s allegations - by the single largest party, the BJP.
While AAP`s allegations against BJP have forced the party, and the RSS, to exercise caution and appear to be principled, state party chief Satish Upadhyay`s remarks that the BJP is ready to form government in Delhi if called by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung have amply made clear the party`s strategy.
If we go by AAP’s version, BJP is allegedly involved in horse trading. Sums amounting to Rs 20 crores seem to be exchanging hands to cobble up the required numbers.
As per the existing well of house, BJP needs 34 MLAs to form the government as the House`s effective strength stands at 67. At present, the BJP has 29 MLAs including one of ally SAD.
AAP claims the BJP is working to split the Congress to increase its numbers, after failing to win over AAP MLAs.
While the BJP has steadfastly denied any such move, indications are that the party is eyeing power in Delhi. Power subsidy announced by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely in the Delhi Budget could be seen as a precursor to the party staking claim.
Further, the BJP`s likely CM candidate - Janakpuri MLA Jagdish Mukhi - has been active and involved in self-promotion for some time now.
If sources are to go by, the Delhi BJP has PM Narendra Modi`s blessings to go ahead and fill the power vacuum in the national capital.
The BJP, however, needs to answer a few questions here. What about the party`s last year`s stand after Assembly Elections that it will not form government since it had not won the required numbers? Also, will a BJP government in Delhi formed with the help of either rebel Congress legislators or AAP MLAs be a credible dispensation?
Considering the fact that Modi, ever since he became PM, has been preaching to work for the nation and not for personal gains, a BJP government in Delhi in current situation would be seen as a U-turn from a principled stand. It will only do more harm than good.
Such a BJP government in Delhi will only be seen as power hungry, whose foundation itself rests on unfair means.
If the Lieutenant Governor also invites the BJP to form a government without clear numbers, he will be seen as a tool in the hands of BJP government at the Centre – in variance with what Narendra Modi wants to project for BJP as a party.
The only clean way out in Delhi then is to go for fresh elections – parties should not form coalition governments for the sake of forming one when they have serious ideological differences and have been slamming each other all along.
This is why the AAP-Congress experiment failed and seriously dented the credibility of Arvind Kejriwal`s party. Even he knows now that his party will not be able to repeat its stellar performance in Delhi.
The BJP, on the other hand, is not sure whether the Modi wave still exits and will yield results in Delhi, especially when the BJP government at the Centre has failed to match its campaign promises with action early into the government. Probably that`s why BJP MLAs may want to hold on to their seats and go for fresh elections somewhat later in Modi`s tenure as PM.
For the Congress, little has changed since the last election in Delhi and at the Centre and the party is unlikely to make any sort of comeback. In fact, it is facing the prospect of five to six of its MLAs crossing over to BJP to form the government in Delhi without forcing fresh elections.
Over the next few days things will become clearer – on government formation as well as on the direction politics takes in this capital city.