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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

All eyes on Delhi L-G as tug of war continues

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 22, 2014
First Published: 01:21 IST(22/7/2014) | Last Updated: 13:09 IST(22/7/2014)

“We asked L-G under what formula a government could be formed in Delhi. He had no answer,” tweeted Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, having requested Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung to dissolve Delhi Assembly and pave the way for fresh elections.

The AAP, which had pulled the plug on its own Congress-backed minority government within 49 days with Kejriwal resigning as chief minister in February, has been trying to stall BJP’s reported bid to form a government.

Read: AAP MLAs meet L-G; want dissolution of assembly

The BJP has in turn said it would only react if the L-G office gets proactive. So does Jung actually have “no answers” and has he been “less proactive”? Constitutional experts feel the two parties are only resorting to political posturing, somehow trying to get back in power.  

Constitution expert SK Sharma said, “There are only two scenarios in which the L-G can be proactive. A leader from a political party has to approach him with a list of adequate number of MLAs supporting the grouping to form the government. Or a group of MLAs with intentions to support a party has to approach the L-G. Both have not happened.”

The state has been without an elected government for five months and the assembly is under suspended animation. The NCT of Delhi Act says President’s rule has to be reviewed every year and can remain in force for a maximum of three years. The BJP is believed to be firming up plans to take a shot at forming a government by weaning away Congress and AAP MLAs.

Read | Return of Arvind Kejriwal: AAP sets up fight in Delhi

As for fresh elections, political scientist Ravi Ranjan said, “AAP chose to quit in 49 days and straightway recommended that House be dissolved. Jung did not do so then. Nothing much has changed since apart from allegations of horse-trading.”

“AAP has not been consistent in seeking fresh elections. In May , it requested Jung in writing that House not be dissolved as AAP was exploring options to form a government,” said Ranjan, who also teaches at DU.

Read: BJP betrayed people’s trust, says AAP

Sharma, who was also secretary of Lok Sabha and Delhi Assembly, said, “Jung is well within his rights to consult all parties. After all, he is the administrative head for a year; you cannot force him to be in a hurry. And there are several other stakeholders, including the home ministry and the Election Commission of India, as well, in deciding when fresh elections should be held.”  

Kejriwal along with 24 party MLAs on Monday met Jung and demanded immediate dissolution of the assembly to stop “horse trading” of legislators and pushed for fresh polls.


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