Delhi govt formation: L-G to hold talks with parties
Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung said on Wednesday he would explore with all political parties the possibility of forming a government in Delhi.
"In view of the President’s approval to explore the possibility of installing a popular government in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, the Lt. Governor Shri Najeeb Jung would be exploring the possibilities with the leaders of all political parties over the next few days," said a release from his office.
The L-G's move came a day ahead of the Supreme Court's decision on the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) petition to dissolve the assembly and go for press polls.
Sources said this move would give the L-G some leeway in the apex court as discussion with political parties would drag on for days.
With the Congress and the AAP strongly demanding fresh elections and the Bharatiya Janata Party ( BJP) still short of a majority, this could also open up the floor for horse-trading, sources added.
On Tuesday, the court pulled up the Centre and L-G over the delay in arriving at a decision on government formation in the national capital.
"Just before every date of the hearing, some statement is made about the attempt being made for the formation of government. But why things are not being done well before the date of the hearing?" the apex court's constitution bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu had asked.
The court said President's rule could not go on forever in a democracy and questioned whether the single largest party, the BJP, was in a position to for a government.
Delhi has been under President's rule over the last eight months, after the AAP government led by Arvind Kejriwal resigned.
In the 70-member Delhi House, the BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has 29 MLAs - down from 32 after its legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pravesh Verma were elected to the Lok Sabha.
The AAP has 28 members, of which Vinod Kumar Binny was subsequently expelled by the party, while the Congress has eight.
Kejriwal, meanwhile, took a dig at Jung, saying, "For the last eight months, we requested L-G for an all party meeting. The decision can be taken in five minutes."
"… if his intentions are noble he should call an all party meet today (Wednesday) evening."
Kejriwal had earlier accused Jung of favouring the BJP on the matter of the formation of the government in Delhi.
Reacting to reports that the L-G has got the President's nod to invite the single-largest party to form the government, Kejriwal accused the BJP on Tuesday of indulging in dirty tricks.
After the court asked the Centre and L-G why they had taken such a long time in taking a call on the Delhi deadlock, Kejriwal had said the BJP would lose if fresh elections were held and was trying to delay the matter.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, Jung met Union home minister Rajnath Singh over the issue of government formation in Delhi.