The Telegraph
 
CIMA Gallary

BJP won't indulge in horse-trading to form Delhi govt: Rajnath

New Delhi, Jul 17 (PTI): The Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday scoffed at reports that it was trying to lure legislators of other parties to form a government in Delhi, saying the party has never indulged in horse-trading and will not do so in future.

”BJP has never done any horse-trading, nor will it do so in future. The question does not arise at all,” Home Minister and former BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters here.

He also rubbished Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal's allegations that BJP was trying to poach some opposition MLAs to be able to form government in Delhi.

The Home Minister, however, evaded a direct reply on the possibility of BJP forming the government in the national capital in near future. “Please ask our party President Amit Shah. I am not aware of it. I have no information,” he said.

Asked whether there was any direction to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung to take initiatives for government formation, Singh said no such directive has been given by the Home Ministry. Delhi is currently under President's Rule after the Kejriwal-led AAP government resigned in mid-February.

So far the BJP has been refusing to take the plunge citing lack of majority.

Newly-appointed Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay had on Wednesday said that the party would consider taking a shot at government formation if invited by the Lt Governor.

All BJP MLAs and MPs in Delhi are believed to be in favour of the party forming the government and a final decision on it is expected to be taken when Prime Minister Narendra Modi returns from the BRICS summit in Brazil.

Former Delhi Finance Minister Jagdish Mukhi is considered to be in the race for Chief Minister's post.

BJP will require the support of five additional MLAs to prove majority in the Assembly and party sources said the party was confident of getting them.        

BJP had emerged the single largest party after the polls with 32 seats, including one of Akali Dal, in the 70-member Assembly. But it had refused to form government in December, 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 after three of its MLAs - Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pervesh Verma - were elected to the Lok Sabha. The strength of the Assembly also went down to 67 and the simple majority mark would be 34.