3:40 am - Tuesday January 22, 2019

Rajnath denies Kejriwal’s claims, says BJP will never do horse trading

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Patna blasts an act of terror: Rajnath Singh
Patna blasts an act of terror: Rajnath Singh

Amid reports that the BJP will take the final call on forming the government in Delhi after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from BRICS summit in Brazil, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal posed a number of questions for Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.

“Sources says despite public outcry, L-G is likely to invite BJP to form govt today. BJP will accept it…..,” Kejriwal tweeted, adding, “Would L-G save his chair or the constitution – nation will keenly watch.”Kejriwal asked if L-G can invite a party to form government without prima facie satisfying himself whether the party has the numbers. “Shouldn’t L-G first ask for a list of supporting MLAs? Else wouldn’t L-G be seen to be acting partisan?”

“Can L-G afford not to invite BJP? Else, won’t he be transferred or removed, as happened to other governors?”, Kejriwal asked.

The Aam Aadmi Party has called a meeting of its MLAs to discuss the future course of action. AAP sources also said that Kejriwal has sought an appointment with Delhi L-G Najeeb Jung, but a confirmation is being awaited.

Home minister Rajnath Singh responded to Kejriwal’s charges saying BJP has never done any horse trading nor will it do in future.

Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari said the party has not taken any decision on the government formation in Delhi.

After Kejriwal quit his 49-day government in February, Delhi assembly has been under suspended animation and Jung has been the administrative head, reporting to the union home minister. It is up to the L-G to decide whether he will dissolve the assembly or explore possibilities of government formation with parties.

As reported earlier, BJP seems set to name Janakpuri MLA Prof Jagdish Mukhi as the leader of the BJP legislature party, but only if it decides to form the government. This means Mukhi would be the CM of the next BJP-led government in Delhi, if formed.

A BJP source told HT that party leaders – both at the Centre and in the state – have consulted MLAs, most of whom who are in favour of forming the government with support of turncoat Congress MLAs. Some MLAs feared that recent water and power shortage, rising prices of vegetables and other issues may lead to electoral reverses if fresh election were held.

Congress MLA Haroon Yusuf, however, accused the BJP of spreading rumours and said there was no split in the party.

In the present strength of 67-member Delhi assembly, the BJP-SAD alliance has 29 MLAs and is counting on the support of independent legislator Rambir Shooken and Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny, who was expelled from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). This still leaves the BJP three MLAs short of a simple majority in the assembly. Speculation is rife that at least six MLAs have sent feelers to the BJP about their willingness to support a BJP government.

“The BJP is trying to form the government by buying MLAs — one with Rs. 20 crore. Why is Narendra Modi silent? Enough is enough. Now Delhi will not remain silent,” Kejriwal earlier said.

AAP is also running a campaign to know who has fared better —Arvind Kejriwal or Narendra Modi in their first 49 days of government.

Read: BJP wants Delhi rule, final call on PM’s return from BRICS summit

AAP posters on autorickshaws plying in the capital highlight the problems being faced by people on multiple issues — ranging from sky-rocketing prices of essential commodities, long and unending power cuts, water supply problems and the rising electricity and water bills across the city.

“The campaign will be intensified in coming days with party volunteers spreading out in all the assembly constituencies to explain the party stand in every house,” said an AAP volunteer.

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