Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Saturday met President Pranab Mukherjee, asking him to step in and stop Lt-Governor Najeeb Jung from inviting the BJP to form a government in Delhi. The party also urged the President to ensure that the Delhi Assembly is dissolved so that fresh elections can take place.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, along with 22 party leaders, met Mukherjee on Saturday evening and submitted a memorandum, in which they alleged that the Lt-Governor’s move to “the leader of the BJP to form the government in the capital would be an open invitation for horse-trading…” The party also alleged that the move would be akin to “murdering our democracy”.
“We would, therefore, request you not to countenance such unconstitutional advice from the L-G and use your discretion to order the dissolution of the Assembly and call for fresh elections in Delhi,” the memorandum submitted by the AAP chief stated.
Criticising the Lt-Governor following media reports which state that the L-G wants to call the BJP to form the government, the AAP said the move would lead to horse-trading. “Media reports, however, suggest that the L-G of Delhi has recently sent a report to you recommending that the single largest party, i.e. the BJP should be invited to form a government. Such a recommendation would be an open invitation for the formation of a government by defections and horse-trading, something prohibited by the Constitution,” the memorandum said.
Explaining the reasons for opposing the BJP from forming the government, Kejriwal said a minority government can be formed in two circumstances — if the leader of the party enjoys outside support from other political parties or independent MLAs or if there are too many political parties in the Assembly. Stating that none of these circumstances existed in the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal said, “It is clear that in the absence of support of the Congress or AAP, the BJP is not in a position to win a confidence vote, except by engineering defections.”
The former Delhi chief minister also pointed to statements made by BJP leaders earlier this year on the issue of government formation. Stating that they did not have the necessary numbers, the BJP had refused to form government when the L-G had given them an invitation to do so.
Following this, the AAP — with outside support from Congress — had formed the government, which lasted 49 days. After the AAP government’s resignation, the BJP again maintained they were not in a position to form the government. Moreover, of the 32 seats BJP had in Delhi, three were lost when these MLAs were elected as MPs in the Lok Sabha polls this year.