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Delhi LG Najeeb Jung in a fix about whether to call for fresh Assembly elections

Thursday, 31 July 2014 - 11:32pm IST Updated: Friday, 1 August 2014 - 12:05am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna webdesk

India's political rulers reside in New Delhi but in a strange turn of events the capital is currently not ruled by any elected political party. For the last 5 months, Delhi is under President's rule and Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung is looking after day to day work of the government. 

Currently there is a political stalemate and there is no clear sign that it will be resolved anytime soon. After AAP's 49 day rule in New Delhi, Kejriwal wanted the assembly to be dissolved. But as he was running a minority government his recommendation was overruled by LG and the assembly was kept in suspended animation. After that AAP approached the Supreme Court deeming the decision of LG unconstitutional. 

In the meanwhile, BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi winning all 7 seats. This evidently tilts the balance towards BJP to win the polls if the assembly is dissolved.

Earlier, many pundits believed that the Home Ministry would advice LG to go dissolve the Assembly. But contrary to all expectations, that has still not happened. In the meanwhile, rumour mills were abuzz with news that BJP was trying to reach the "magic number" in the 70-member assembly by breaking the Congress. There were rumours of rebellion even in AAP's ranks. 

Apprehending such development, AAP accused BJP of indulging in horse trading. However top BJP leaders categorically denied the charge and said that they will not stoop to such level to capture power in Delhi. Kejriwal on 17th July again met LG and asked him to dissolve the government. 

He launched a tirade against the LG on Twitter branding him partisan and speculated that Jung would invite BJP to form the government. However contrary to his claims nothing like it has happened so far.

According to constitutional experts only if a party approaches Jung with sufficient number, he can invite them to form government. With none of the parties looking to do so, it seems like election is inevitable sooner or later. 

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday, replying to a debate on the Delhi budget, said he hoped that there is a political solution soon, else fresh elections would take place. That indicates that this impasse will probably end soon.

However as per Delhi Act, the state can remain under President's rule for three long years with the decision reviewed after each year. With problems already emerging about lack of electricity and water, Delhiites will certainly not prefer to be devoid of a government for that long! So the heat is on LG Najeeb Jung to take a decision one way or the other.

AAP, which has decided to focus only on Delhi for now will certainly be hot on his heels carefully tracking the evolving situation. 

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