After Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung rejected the erstwhile AAP government’s recommendation to hold fresh elections, the party is now looking at legal options to compel dissolution of the Assembly and fresh polls in Delhi. Sources in the party said that possibilities included the resignation of all 27 AAP MLAs and challenging the Union Cabinet’s recommendation in court.
A senior party leader said that they had sought advice from legal and constitutional experts on the issues. “The Lieutenant-Governor had disagreed with the council of ministers on two issues — the Jan Lokpal Bill and fresh elections. We want to pose the Congress and the BJP a question, since they came together to defeat the introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Delhi Assembly,” the leader said.
According to sources, the resignation of all 27 MLAs was being considered. “If all our MLAs resign, including the Speaker, will the Congress and BJP elect a new Speaker, or will they call for fresh elections? We are trying to determine if polls for Delhi should be announced considering the BJP has refused to form government and the AAP has resigned,” another senior leader said.
However, the resignation of all 27 MLAs may only end in by-elections. Former Lok Sabha secretary general and Constitutional law expert Subhash C Kashyap said, “The options before the Lt-Governor are the same as they were when the Chief Minister and the Cabinet resigned – to form an alternative government or to hold elections. By keeping the Assembly in suspended animation, it seemed that the Lt-Governor hoped that there may be a possibility to form an alternative government, if not immediately then at a later date. The Assembly should not be dissolved without trying to form alternative government. If some people resign the L-G can still form alternative government and hold by-elections for the seats where the MLAs resigned.”
Sources said the AAP may even challenge the decision on President’s rule in court. Asked if the decision could be challenged, Solicitor General of India Mohan Parasaran said, “Anyone can go to court…, it would however be difficult to sustain the plea.”