Lt. Governor Asks Prez to Let ‘Single Largest Party’ Form Govt in Delhi
NEW DELHI : BJP is likely to be invited to form a government in Delhi with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung sending a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to call the single largest party to take a shot at power though it is well short of majority in the Assembly. In his report, Jung gave a detailed analysis of the political situation in the city and underlined the need to have an elected government in the city which is under President’s rule since February 17 following resignation of the Aam Aadmi Party government which was in power for 49 days.
The Lt Governor said though no party has staked claim to form government in Delhi, the BJP could be invited to take the reins as it is the single largest party in the Assembly. Jung observed that all options for putting in place an elected government should be explored before contemplating holding of fresh polls. Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said the party would examine if it was invited to form government. Sources in BJP said almost all its MLAs and senior “Delhi leaders were not in favour of facing Assembly election immediately and have already conveyed their views to top leadership. BJP, along with its ally Akali Dal’s one MLA, has 29 MLAs in the Assembly and it will require support of five more legislators to prove majority in the House.
BJP had won 31 seats in the 70-member Assembly but the number of BJP MLAs came down to 28 as three party legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pervesh Verma had resigned from the Assembly after they were elected to Lok Sabha. Following resignation of the three legislators, the strength of the Assembly had come down to 67 and BJP will require support of at least five more MLAs to reach the majority mark of 34 to prove its majority in the House.
The Aam Aadmi Party had won 28 seats in its debut Assembly elections and had later formed the government with outside support from Congress’ eight MLAs. The government led by Kejriwal had resigned on February 14 after the party’s pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress. President’s Rule was imposed in Delhi on February 17. The Lt Governor had not favoured dissolution of the Delhi Assembly as recommended by the Council of Ministers headed by Kejriwal and kept the Assembly in suspended animation. Last week the Congress and AAP had cautioned the Lt Governor not to take any “unconstitutional move” by inviting BJP to form government. Both the parties have been demanding immediate dissolution of the Assembly, saying keeping it in suspended animation will encourage horse trading.