A day after the assembly election results threw up a hung verdict in Delhi, the formation of a government remained uncertain with the BJP and the AAP refusing to stake claim, saying they did not have the numbers to provide a stable dispensation.
Usually the party with the highest number of seats in a hung assembly joins hands with other outfits to reach the halfway mark, but with no party staking claim, it’s a peculiar scenario in Delhi.
The BJP, with its partner Akali Dal's one seat, has 32 MLAs and will need the support of at least four more to reach the magic figure of 36 in the 70-member assembly. The AAP has bagged 28 seats, followed by Congress with eight. The Janata Dal (United) won one seat, while the Mundka seat was bagged by an independent.
With its number of seats just short of a simple majority, the BJP has refused to stake claim to form the government unless it has “support in natural process”. Simply put, it would rather wait for support from the AAP or the Congress instead of approaching them or their MLAs. At this point, the BJP does not want to be seen as trying to break the two parties or indulging in horse-trading.
The BJP's chief ministerial candidate, Harsh Vardhan, had said on Sunday night he would prefer to sit in the opposition than indulge in any "horse-trading".
After a meeting with top AAP leaders at his residence on Monday, debutant politician Arvind Kejriwal said the party would only play the role of a constructive opposition. Party leader Yogendra Yadav said even if Lt Governor Najeeb Jung invited the party to form the government, it would decline it, citing the lack of majority.
“As per the Constitution, the largest party has to take the responsibility of forming government… We don't have the mandate to form the government. It is a strange situation where the single largest party is asking the number 2 party to form the government,” Yadav said. Read: Jaitley dares AAP to form govt, in power will be like fish out of water
With the AAP and BJP refusing to stake claim, there are three possible scenarios for the Lt Governor:
* Jung invites the BJP to form a minority government and prove majority in assembly. In such a scenario, the BJP can win a trust vote if the AAP or the Congress abstain.
* The BJP manages to get six MLAs (to reach magic figure of 36 without inviting disqualification) from other parties to quit assembly. It wins the floor test and gets the switchover MLAs re-elected on its tickets in bypolls.
* In case above scenarios don’t work out, the Lt Governor recommends President’s rule for six months and Delhi holds re-polls with 2014 general elections. Read More : If hung, Delhi polls to be slotted with LS in April
Sources said the Lt Governor would have to wait for a formal regret from all the parties who contested before recommending to the President to keep the assembly in suspended animation.
“The Lt Governor is also consulting experts to study provisions of the law. He may even call the leaders of both the BJP and the AAP and tell them to explore the possibilities of forming government with mutual support and understanding. In case nothing works out he can send his recommendation for President's rule,” a source said.
Meanwhile, following Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit's resignation on Sunday, the Lt Governor will have to take up additional responsibility till the next government is formed in the state.
While the Delhi Police and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) already come under Jung’s direct control, he will now additionally handle water and sewer issues. He will also supervise the area under New Delhi Municipal Council.
The CEO of the Delhi Jal Board and vice-chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council — who reported to the chairperson, the chief minister of Delhi — will now report to the Lt Governor.
The chief secretary of Delhi, who reported to the chief minister, will now report to Jung. All Delhi government departments — health, transport, social welfare, education, public works, food and supplies etc — will be under his direct control.
The Lt Governor may appoint a team of advisors to help him run the affairs in Delhi.
(With inputs from agencies)