New Delhi: Newly appointed Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay Monday said he has asked party workers to “gird up their loins” for fresh elections, signalling it will not cobble together the numbers to form a government in the national capital.
“If you talk about the choice of the party in Delhi, it will be a re-election,” Upadhayay, 52, told IANS in a brief interview.
He refuted allegations that the party tried to lure away any of the Congress or Aam Aadmi Party legislators to form the government in Delhi.
“We did not invite anyone to join us. And, if the other party legislators want to join us, they are welcome,” he said, in an indirect reference to Congress legislators who are rumored to have been in touch with the BJP to form the government.
“Many AAP and Congress legislators are friends of our MLAs and if they talk to each other, it doesn’t mean that the BJP leaders are indulging in horse-trading,” said Upadhyay, who took charge July 9.
He was previously chairman of the standing committee of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation.
He said our message to the workers was “kamar kas lo (gird up your loins)” for the elections, he said.
Upadhyay said the BJP was confident of winning with a clean majority.
“We are confident of winning the election this time with a full majority. The people of Delhi want change and they want to get over the AAP’s 49-day rule in the city,” said Upadhyay, who has also been the vice president of the state unit.
He was learnt to have met senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari, who told him not to try to break any party to put together a majority in the Delhi assembly.
Asked who the chief ministerial candidate would be, he said the “discretion lies with the central leadership of the BJP”.
Delhi came under President’s Rule Feb 17. The assembly is presently in suspended animation.
The BJP won 31 seats in the December 2013 election for the 70-member Delhi assembly and the AAP 28. The Congress, which had been in power for 15 long years, got only eight seats while independents and other won three seats. One AAP member later broke ranks.
The AAP eventually formed a government with Congress backing but Arvind Kejriwal resigned as the chief minister Feb 14 after failing to pass the Jan Lokpal bill.
If the BJP declines to form a government, the ball will be in the court of Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, who will have to decide whether and when fresh elections are to be held.