Banking on a possible political realignment in the existing Delhi assembly in future, the central government on Thursday told the Supreme Court that the president was not bound to dissolve it merely because the outgoing AAP government had so recommended.
The central government contended that the Aam Aadmi Party has erroneously proceeded on the basis that the president was bound to dissolve Delhi assembly because there was no possibility of the formation of any other government with both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress having already expressed their "unwillingness and inability" in this regard.
The contention came in response to the AAP petition challenging its decision to keep Delhi assembly under suspended animation following the Arvind Kejriwal government bowing out of office.
It sought to sustain the possibility of realignment in the composition of Delhi assembly by pointing to the dissensions within the AAP -- one legislator being expelled and one of the founding members leaving the party over the alleged ill-treatment of African women by then law minister Somnath Bharti. The central government also claimed that there was uncertainty over the continued support of independent legislators to the AAP government.
It said that majority of legislators were dissatisfied with the handling of the Jan Lokpal issue by the AAP government.
In view of the fact that Delhi saw a fractured mandate with the BJP getting 32 seats, AAP bagging 28, and the Congress with eight besides two independents in the 70-seat assembly and "additionally in view of the dissensions within" and "widespread dissatisfaction with its functioning", the "political situation in Delhi was fluid (and) the possibility of another party/alliance forming the government could not be ruled out", the central government said in its affidavit. "Moreover, it is pertinent to note that political decision taken at one point in time and alignment are known to change," the government said.
To buttress its point, it referred to the AAP petition saying that they had initially categorically declined to form a coalition government with the support of Congress but "thereafter fundamentally changed its position".
It said the AAP claim that no other party, including BJP, was inclined to form government was based on "unauthenticated newspaper reports". The central government said that in the given fluid political scenario, the possibility of BJP staking claim to forming government could not be ruled out - a possibility envisaged by Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung.
Describing as "fallacious" the AAP plea that non-dissolution of Delhi assembly has denied people of Delhi to have an elected popular government, the central government said that upholding the democratic rights of the people of Delhi "in fact obligates the Lt. Governor and the President to explore every possibility of a popularly-elected government emerging from duly elected legislative assembly".
It sought dismissal of the AAP petition with "exemplary costs".