9:54 pm - Wednesday November 4, 2015

BJP set to form government in Delhi? AAP alleges horse-trading

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NEW DELHI: Under pressure from its MLAs, BJP is exploring options of forming a government in Delhi, but is faced with the uphill task of breaking away two-thirds of either Congress or Aam Aadmi Party, both of which are said to be playing hardball with BJP.

Newly appointed president of Delhi BJP, Satish Upadhyaya, called a meeting of the BJP MLAs on Wednesday morning on the issue. Sources said virtually all MLAs were of the view that the party should make all efforts to form a government.

However, there was some confusion over who should be the chief minister, though a section of the party said Jagdish Mukhi is the frontrunner for the post. Upadhyaya and other senior leaders are likely to meet BJP president Amit Shah to apprise him of the legislature party view.

The sources said no decision on the issue will be taken before July 18, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from the BRICS summit in Brazil.

Of the 31 BJP MLAs in the Delhi assembly, Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Parvesh Singh are now MPs. This has reduced the total strength of the Delhi assembly to 67.

Breaking away two-thirds of the 28 AAP MLAs would be difficult while four of the eight Congress MLAs belong to the minority community and are reportedly apprehensive about joining BJP.

Congress MLAs Hasan Ahmed, Haroon Yusuf, Asif Mohammad Khan, Chaudhary Mateen Ahmed and the party’s state unit president Arvinder Singh Lovely would be difficult to poach, a BJP Delhi unit leader said.

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