As Delhi stares at polls again, L-G invites Harsh Vardhan to discuss govt formation

Harsh VardhanVardhan is expected to meet Jung late on Thursday after returning from Chhattisgarh. (IE Photo: Prem Nath Pandey)

Three days after polls in Delhi threw up a hung Assembly, Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung invited BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan for a discussion on government formation. Vardhan is expected to meet Jung late on Thursday after returning from Chhattisgarh.

Speaking to Newsline, Harsh Vardhan said, "The Honourable Lt-Governor has invited me for a discussion on Thursday, but I do not know the agenda. I informed him that I will be away in Chhattisgarh for the swearing-in ceremony of Raman Singh and would meet him in the evening." With 32 seats, the BJP is the single-largest party in Delhi, followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 28.

Asked if the BJP would attempt to form a minority government in Delhi, Harsh Vardhan remained tight lipped. "I do not know what the agenda is, so it will be inappropriate to talk about this. This will become clear only tomorrow," Harsh Vardhan said.

The BJP has reiterated that it would not stake claim to form the government in Delhi since it did not have the mandate. If Harsh Vardhan declines, Jung may offer the AAP a chance. However, AAP's Arvind Kejriwal has also refused to form a government, saying he too did not have the mandate.

Earlier in the day, President Pranab Mukherjee sought information about government formation in Delhi from Jung. Sources said Mukherjee had asked Jung about the next step in Delhi. Jung is learnt to have held consultations with experts after the election results were notified on Tuesday.

Senior officials said Jung had accepted Sheila Dikshit's resignation as Chief Minister, thus completing the first step in forming the new government.

Over the last few days, the BJP and the AAP have communicated to their MLAs and losing candidates to prepare for fresh elections. While the BJP and AAP have 32 and 28 seats respectively, the Congress plummeted from 43 seats to eight. The JD (U) and an Independent won a seat each. If President's rule is imposed, then the Lt-Governor will run the government with the help of a group of advisors.

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