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Bhartiya Janata Party unlikely to make any attempt to woo Aam Aadmi Party MLAs

Monday, 9 December 2013 - 9:56pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

BJP appears to have reconciled to the hung verdict in Delhi elections and is unlikely to make any efforts to poach MLAs to reach the majority mark as any controversy ahead of the Lok Sabha polls may cost it dear and winning over AAP or Congress lawmakers seems a tall order.

Senior BJP leaders, preferring anonymity, said though the party is within "handshaking distance" from the half-way mark of 36 in an Assembly of 70, it does not want to make any attempt to woo Aam Aadmi MLAs.

Sources said initially there were suggestions from some quarters in the BJP that Operation Lotus, which Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had successfully tried in his state, could be attempted here too. But senior leaders were vehemently opposed.

Yeddyurappa had convinced some Congress MLAs in Karnataka to resign and contest by-elections on a BJP ticket. This had helped his minority government get the numbers.

But with AAP contesting the polls on an anti-corruption plank, none of its MLAs would be willing to resign and contest on a BJP ticket as their probability of re-election would be greatly diminished.

BJP is also wary of even approaching AAP MLAs on this issue due to the fear of sting operations, sources said.

"Getting embroiled in any controversy at this juncture when BJP is hopeful of coming to power in the Lok Sabha elections, which are just months away, would cost us dear. Going for re-elections in Delhi Assembly along with the general elections is a better idea," another BJP leader said.

Moreover, AAP's stellar performance has shown that any corrupt practice, including wooing MLAs through allurements, would lead to adverse reactions from the people.

Other suggestions floating in the party are on the issue of how AAP became a registered party and was given a symbol.

However, senior leaders have shot down suggestions of taking up this matter with the Election Commission as it is likely to backfire both politically and legally.

"There is a strong wind in AAP's favour. Any step against it these days will harm us," the leader said.

Breaking Congress MLAs is also very difficult with four of the eight winners from the party being Muslims and representing minority-dominated seats while Arvinder Singh Lovely was a minister in the Sheila Dikshit government.

Some BJP leaders feel that though President's Rule in Delhi would mean a Congress rule by proxy it can help the party- and AAP- when Assembly elections are held as anti-incumbency against the party would see a further jump.

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