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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Najeeb Jung may pitch for fresh polls in his report

Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 02, 2014
First Published: 00:52 IST(2/9/2014) | Last Updated: 10:18 IST(2/9/2014)

Delhi Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung is expected to send a report this week to President Pranab Mukherjee on the status of the Delhi assembly and the possible options of government formation. The report will be sent before the AAP petition on dissolution of the assembly comes up for directions in the Supreme Court on September 9.

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Authoritative sources in the government said Jung will recommend two options: either call on the single-largest party in the assembly, the BJP, to form the government or go for re-election.

Delhi has been without a government for over six months after the assembly was suspended in February when AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal resigned as chief minister to fight in the Lok Sabha elections.

While the L-G, under advice from the President, may invite the BJP to form a minority government in Delhi, there are chances that this option won’t be picked up and an early election in January 2015 could be on the horizon for the Capital.

Sources said that once the report is sent to the President, it will be referred to home minister Rajnath Singh from where it will be sent to the Union cabinet for decision.

If the cabinet decides in favour of a minority BJP government then the L-G may invite BJP Delhi president Satish Upadyaya to form the government.

In case, the BJP declines to form the government, then Jung will recommend dissolution of the assembly to the President.

The BJP at present has 28 assembly members, down from 31, after its legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pervesh Verma were elected to the Lok Sabha. The AAP has 28 members and the Congress has eight.

Incidentally, Kejriwal had written to the L-G on May 20 not to dissolve the assembly as he wanted to ascertain public opinion on whether he should form the government again. “That letter has not been withdrawn by Kejriwal,” said a senior Delhi government official.


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