Modi reviews political situation in Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of BJP Tuesday reviewed the political situation in the national capital amid indication that the ruling party at the centre was bracing for fresh elections.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top leaders of BJP Tuesday reviewed the political situation in the national capital amid indication that the ruling party at the centre was bracing for fresh elections rather than cobbling together a government with support from MLAs from other parties.

Party sources said besides Modi the meeting was attended by Home Minister Rajnath singh, Finance & Defence Minster Arun Jaitley, External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari.

The meeting analysed the political situation in Delhi and there was indication that the party might favour fresh election early next year, the sources said.

They said the general view among senior leaders was that there should be fresh election, though there were suggestions for taking opinions of the party MLAs as well.

On Sunday after meeting with the Union Home Minister, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay had said the party was "fully ready" to face fresh election while sounding confident of getting a clear majority if polls are held again.

The sources said though most of the BJP MLAs are reluctant to go to polls, they have already been told to start preparing for fresh elections.

A senior Delhi BJP leader said there is a possibility of election taking place in February next year as President`s rule can continue for one year.

Central rule was imposed in Delhi on February 17 after 49- day-old AAP government had resigned.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung is likely to send a report to Union Home Ministry shortly as President`s rule was completing six months.

There was no consensus in Delhi BJP on whether the party should form a government or not and a final decision on the issue is expected to be taken by the top leadership of the party, sources said.

They said RSS was also not in favour of forming a government by the party by "managing the numbers".

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

On Saturday 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. PTI MPB

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