With allegations and counter-allegations reigning the political scenario in Delhi, there is still no clarity on the way forward after President’s rule came into force on February 16. After allegations of ‘horse-trading’ by parties the past week, the AAP and the Congress are now unanimous in their demand for fresh elections while the BJP still seems to be on the fence on this.
An AAP spokesperson said the party would raise the Lt-Governor’s “inaction” on government formation before the Supreme Court on July 4.
Incidentally, the last two weeks have seen “secret meetings between Congress and BJP MLAs” and claims of the BJP trying to make AAP MLAs break away from the party to help the BJP form the government. But sources said after five AAP MLAs come forward and admitted that they had been approached by the BJP, the little chance of government formation taking place without fresh elections seems improbable now.
“Till now, no decision on elections has been taken as there were talks of the BJP being in negotiation with AAP MLAs to get them to break away from the AAP. In such a scenario, there was still a possibility of the BJP forming the government without fresh elections. But all this has come to a standstill now. In such a situation, fresh elections seem inevitable in October,” a source said.
Since Haryana and Maharashtra’s state elections are likely to take place in October, Delhi elections are likely to be clubbed with them.
On a petition challenging imposition of President’s rule after the Assembly elections, the Supreme Court had asked both the Congress and the BJP to state their positions and had said that it was up to the Lt-Governor to take the next step. “When the next hearing in the case comes up on July 4, we will argue that there is no reason for Delhi to not have a government and fresh elections should be called. While there is no government, there is an apprehension of horse-trading, which even the Supreme Court has said is against democratic principles,” an AAP spokesperson.
According to sources in the Delhi government though, the final call on whether fresh elections would be held in Delhi or not would be taken by the Central government.
Delhi BJP leaders also reiterated this stance, claiming that the decision on elections was not theirs to take. “It is up to the top brass to take a decision on whether we will go for polls and when. As and when that decision is taken, it will be made known to all,” the party’s Delhi in-charge Prabhat Jha said.
However, there are groups within the party who are against elections for many reasons. One of them being that they will not get tickets again or may loose the seat despite spending so much just a few months ago. “We wanted the party to form the government as there are many MLAs from other parties who are willing to support us but we believe that the top brass is not convinced about the decision yet,” a senior leader said.
Congress Legislative Party leader Haroon Yusuf said the Congress has always said it was ready for fresh elections. “We are not in a position to recommend anything to the Lt-Governor. The final decision lies with the Central government…”