BJP should come clean over allegations of horse-trading in Delhi

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Delhi BJP leaders.
Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal has levelled serious allegations against the BJP for indulging in horse-trading to form the Government in Delhi. Though the AAP convener enjoys little credibility, after he resigned as Delhi's Chief Minister, but his allegations bear significance in the backdrop of the reports that BJP leaders are open to all options to forming government in the state.

BJP's new stand over government formation:

After much dilly-dallying, BJP on Wednesday said that they were willing to form a government if they have the required number and said that they would consult with senior leaders in the party. This is contrary to the stand which the party had adopted prior to the LS poll that they won't join hands with any party to grab power.

Kejriwal's accusation:

AAP has accused BJP of buying MLAs by luring them by offering Rs 20 crore to jump the ship, to avoid fresh polls in the capital state. The party needs to come clean on these allegations in order to restore the confidence of voters.

Why this sudden change of guard:

What raises questions over the BJP's approach in this matter is the party's ever changing stand over government formation in Delhi. The party had refused to stake claim for government formation in the December last saying it failed to get a clear mandate in the Delhi Assembly polls, despite emerging as the frontrunner in the assembly poll by getting 31 seats in its kitty. BJP's ally Shiromani Akali Dal had one MLA as well. The party under the leadership of Dr Harsh Vardhan agreed to sit in the opposition and invited the debutant AAP, with 28 MLAs, to form government with the outside support of 8 Congress MLAs.

Why the BJP is shying away from fresh polls in Delhi?

But Kejriwal's government didn't last long and resigned 49-days' after taking oath. Post Kejriwal's resignation, the BJP once again refuted from making Government and announced to go for fresh polls after Lok Sabha elections, in which the party made a clean sweep by bagging all seven Parliamentary seats from Delhi. BJP leader Harsh Vardhan claimed his party would prefer fresh election than forming a government through ‘manipulation'.

But soon after BJP-led NDA Government came to power at the Centre, Delhi faced its worst ever power crisis. This tarnished the BJP's image which was voted as an alternative to the UPA's 10-years of misrule.

Also, the party's number had reduced to 28 in the House of 70 members as three of its legislators were elected in the Lok Sabha. The party now needs five more MLAs to come into majority and form a stable government as it will not take anybody's support.

Why is the BJP nervous?

Fearing a bad performance in a re-poll at such an early stage would dampen the Narendra Modi government's image, the BJP leadership started shying away from going for a re-poll. The party was seen taking a U-turn from its previous stand and admitted to exploring other possibilities to form a government in the national capital. Several BJP leaders were even heard saying ‘immediate polls would not be in Delhi's own good'.

Even senior party leaders like Subramanian Swamy are now hinting towards exploring other options of forming Government in Delhi. Swamy recently told media that he's confident about ‘a BJP government in Delhi, so why waste money on re-polls.'

Recently, Delhi BJP's newly appointed chief Satish Upadhyay revealed that government formation in Delhi was a possibility without dissolving the existing House. Upadhyay further claimed that ‘all options' were under consideration and that the party was confident of getting the support of ‘MLAs from other parties'.

Time to come clean:

This development certainly shows that the BJP is now retreating from its own stand which has brought its role under question. BJP is in a tight spot as it can neither afford going for a re-poll nor can it lose public faith by sale/purchase of MLAs. In the light of reports that the BJP is making bids to clinch power in Delhi by wrong means is very serious and it's time for the ‘party with difference' should stick to its promise that it will maintain probity in Indian politics.

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