BJP ready to face fresh polls in Delhi: Satish Upadhyay

Amid uncertainty over government formation in the city, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on Sunday said his party is "fully ready" to face fresh elections though many party MLAs are reluctant to go to polls again.

PTI| Last Updated: Jul 20, 2014, 23:26 PM IST

New Delhi: Amid uncertainty over government formation in the city, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay on Sunday said his party is "fully ready" to face fresh elections though many party MLAs are reluctant to go to polls again.

At the same time, he said the party will explore taking a shot at power and talk about the numbers once invited by the Lt Governor.


After an hour-long meeting with senior leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Upadhyay said BJP was confident of getting a "clear majority" if elections are held afresh in the national capital.


In the meeting, Upadhyay briefed Singh about party MLAs reluctance to go to polls again and conveyed to him that getting the required numbers to form a government will not be a major challenge.


"If tomorrow elections are announced, we are ready to face it. We are extremely confident of getting a clear majority and handing out crushing defeat to both Congress and AAP. The party does not have any issue in facing the electorate again," Upadhyay told.


BJP sources said there was no consensus in the party on whether it should form a government or not and a final decision on the issue has been left to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


They said a number of Central leaders as well as RSS were not in favour of forming a government by "managing the numbers" and indicated to the state leadership to get ready for elections.


About the possibility of BJP opting for forming the government, Upadhyay said the party will decide on the issue if it is invited to do so by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.


"So far, we have not got any invite from the Lt Governor. If he invites us to form a government, then we will decide accordingly."


Asked how BJP will manage the numbers as it will require the support of five more MLAs to prove majority in the assembly, he only said the party will respond to the question if it gets an invite to government formation.


Those in favour of polls have argued that BJP had come first in 60 of the 70 assembly segments in the Lok Sabha polls and the party will emerge victorious as both Congress and Aam Aadmi Party were in "disarray".
This section feels the party will also benefit politically from the power subsidy announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while presenting the Delhi Budget on Friday.


The party-ruled central government had announced power subsidy of up to Rs 1.20 per unit of electricity in the Delhi Budget which will benefit around 80 per cent or 28 lakh of the city`s total power consumers.


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.


BJP insiders said at least five Congress MLAs have indicated that they are ready to form a separate group and support a BJP government.


To evade provision of anti-defection law, six Congress MLAs out eight will have to leave the party.


Yesterday, Congress had paraded all its MLAs before media to show that all its legislators were firmly with the party and rejected speculation of any possible split.


BJP 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 in December last year, 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.


With the resignation of three MLAs, the strength of the assembly also went down to 67.
President`s rule was imposed in Delhi on February 17 after the 49-day-old AAP government had resigned.


Jung is likely to send his report to the Centre shortly on the political situation in the city.
On AAP`s claim of BJP trying to poach MLAs from Congress, Upadhyay rubbished it, saying the party was misleading the people of the city.