New Delhi: BJP today received backing from an unexpected quarter with former chief minister Sheila Dikshit saying the party should be given an opportunity to form government as it will be good for the people of Delhi, remarks from which the Congress quickly distanced itself.
"In a democracy, elected governments are always good as they represent the people. If BJP has reached such a situation that it can form government, it is good for Delhi," Dikshit, a three-time Chief Minister of Delhi, said here.
Former Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit
The statement by Dikshit, who recently resigned as Governor of Kerala leading to speculation about her return to active politics, has come at a time when AAP and Congress have been accusing BJP of trying to poach MLAs to form government in Delhi.
The 76-year-old leader, who had led Congress to spectacular victories in assembly polls in Delhi in 1998, 2003 and 2009, said that MLAs, whether they are from Congress, AAP or others, do not want election.
"As far as I could understand, every MLA, whether he is from Congress or AAP or others, doesn't want election. People are saying that the MLAs have just been elected and their membership has not crossed even one year. As far as I can understand and people are telling me that they (MLAs) want government to be formed."
She also said that it is not clear yet how the government will be formed. "It is yet to be seen how government is formed and what challenges will be there for a minority government. And, can they (BJP)cross this and not..it is up to them (BJP)," Dikshit said.
Dikshit, under whose leadership Congress had suffered a severe drubbing in the assembly polls in Delhi in December last year, also added, "In the absence of elected government, people don't know where they should go. And their voice is heard nowhere.
"If people's voice is heard and then it is good. If they (BJP) form government, they will have to prove majority on the floor of house...so let the government form and then decision would take place." However, Delhi Congress immediately distanced itself from Dikshit's "shocking" statement, saying it is her personal view and doesn't represent party's stand.
"We are shocked by Sheila Dikshit's statement on government formation. It is her personal views and Congress has nothing to do with it. Our stand is very clear from day one that Congress would not let the BJP form government in the national capital," Delhi Congress' chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma said.
Delhi BJP, however, praised Dikshit for her "straightforward" statement over current political deadlock in the national capital while the Aam Aadmi Party said that it was not surprised as "there is hardly any difference between BJP and Congress".
Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said, "She (Dikshit) is a very senior leader and ran government in Delhi for 15 years.
She has experience to run government and knows constitutional norms very well.
"I praise her for her straightforward statement. She has given this statement carefully. It is not about whether a government will be formed or not, but how you are behaving in politics."
Reacting strongly to Dikshit's comment, Aam Aadmi Party senior leader Ashutosh Srivastava said, "I am not surprised by Sheila Dikshit's statement because we have been saying for a long time that there is good understanding between the BJP and the Congress... and there is hardly any difference between BJP and Congress."
The AAP leader alleged that Dikshit was giving such statement as she knows that if AAP comes to power, investigation against her in Delhi will be speeded up.
"The another reason behind her statement is that there are three FIRs against Sheila Dikshit. And if Aam Aadmi Party
forms government, the investigation will be speed up. "Then, Sheila Dikshit will have no other option but to go to jail. She is desperate to avoid going to jail and she doesn't want investigation to happen and that's why, Congress and BJP are coming together," Ashutosh said.
The AICC too dismissed DikshiT's remarks as her "personal opinion". "Shiela Ji's comments on govt formation in Delhi, may be her personal opinion. Congress MLAs & AICC are totally against extending support to BJP", AICC General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed tweeted. Ahmed is in charge of party affairs in Delhi.
Ajay Maken, another Congress General Secretary and Chairman of the Congress Media Department, spoke in the same vein. Maken, who hails from Delhi and is a former Union Minister, tweeted "Shiela Ji's comments on Govt formation in Delhi may be her personal opinion. We are against BJP forming Govt. b'cause they don't have numbers".