Delhi is likely to have elections soon as leaders from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress and AAP informed lieutenant governor (L-G) Najeeb Jung on Monday they still did not have the numbers to form a government.Party leaders met Jung though the day to discuss the possibility of forming a government in Delhi which has been under President’s Rule since the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government quit in February after being in office for 49 days.
"L-G held consultations with the leaders of the three political parties to explore the possibility of government formation. All the parties expressed their inability to form the government," said an official statement from the L-G’s office.
Jung announced plans to look at forming a government after the Supreme Court last week slammed the Centre and the L-G over what it termed the “Delhi deadlock”.
Delhi has been gripped by political uncertainty for about eight months, with none of the three parties in a position to form a government. The BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) have 29 MLAs in the 70-member House, down from 32 after three legislators were elected to the Lok Sabha. The AAP has 27 members, and the Congress eight.
The BJP is likely to have an edge in Delhi following its impressive wins in the Lok Sabha and recent assembly elections.
BJP sources said they want to go for fresh elections in February and form a government with a clear majority. A BJP delegation led by its Delhi president, Satish Upadhyay, and senior leader and MLA Jagdish Mukhi were the first to meet Jung on Monday.
“We have made our stand clear to the lieutenant governor. Our party has been maintaining since the beginning that we will not indulge in any kind of manipulation,” said Upadhyay.
Congress legislator Haroon Yusuf also told Jung that his party wanted the Delhi assembly dissolved. “We have been consistent on our stand that no party has numbers to give a stable government in Delhi and this is what we told the L-G also. We recommended that the house should immediately be dissolved and fresh elections be announced in the Capital,” he told reporters after meeting Jung.
While speculation about Congress MLAs breaking away from the party to support the AAP and BJP was rife, the Congress party managed to keep its flock together in the past few months.
The AAP, which has repeatedly accused the BJP of trying to poach its legislators to form the government in Delhi, reiterated it was in favour of elections.
“Our stand is what it was eight months ago. We want the Delhi assembly to be dissolved,” said AAP leader Manish Sisodia after meeting Jung along with Kejriwal.