Political adversaries in the general elections, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have together countered Aam Aadmi Party’s plea to dissolve the assembly in Delhi, where President’s rule was enforced after Arvind Kejriwal’s government resigned within 49 days of taking power.
The two national parties filed separate affidavits before the Supreme Court on Wednesday, a day before the crucial hearing of AAP’s petition challenging imposition of President’s rule. Congress sought status quo, admitting it did not have the numbers to form a government. The grand old party contended that frequent polls would put the public into inconvenience and burden the exchequer. The last assembly elections in the Capital were held in December 2013, and AAP formed the government on December 28.
Supporting the President’s rule, BJP, in its affidavit, accused AAP of moving the court with a political motive to hold fast to its MLAs, who, ostensibly, have lost faith in the party due to its poor handling of Jan Lokpal Bill, and shoddy governance. This, it said, has led to depletion in AAP’s support base, and has caused major dissatisfaction among its legislators.
BJP maintained that its stance against dissolution of the assembly was based on several aspects, such as the “fast changing political scenario, public reaction to AAP’s governance, response of various classes of people, and their anticipated behaviour in future”.
The party stated that it sought to wait for some time, as the numerical strength of the legislative assembly is liable to change after the outcome of the parliamentary elections, in which a few of its current MLAs have contested. BJP, however, added that “the competent authority of its party” would take an appropriate decision, as and when the lieutenant governor invites it for consultation.
AAP immediately came out with a strong reaction. Claiming that despite the SC expressly asking the two national parties to make their stand clear, as to whether they were agreeable to forming the government in concert, “both the parties have not indicated any willingness” to do so.
“This shows that the Congress and BJP have joined hands to thwart the democratic right of the people of Delhi to have a popularly elected government. This is because they feel that, in the event of fresh elections, AAP would get a majority and form the government,” it said in a statement.
The UPA government at the centre has already justified the President’s rule in Delhi, and contended that the assembly was disbanded, as holding elections in such a short time was not in public interest.
The same was advocated by the lieutenant governor.
The LG’s recommendation – with related reasons – the centre said, was accurate, and deserved acceptance, particularly in the context of the fluid situation in the legislative assembly.
In the 70-member Delhi assembly, AAP, with 28 seats and the outside support of eight-member Congress, had, on December 28, 2013 formed the government, which quit within 49 days.
BJP has 31 seats, and the support of one Akali Dal representative.