New Delhi: The Union Cabinet has paved the way for fresh polls in Delhi after it approved Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung’s report recommending dissolution of the Assembly.
The decision was taken at a meeting held at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence, 7 Race Course Road on Tuesday.
The Centre’s decision would be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval, leading to the formal dissolution of the house. The Election Commission would then take a call on when to hold elections in Delhi.
The ball was set rolling for fresh in Delhi after Lt Governor Najeeb Jung sent a report to the President recommending dissolution of the Assembly as BJP, Congress and AAP express inability to form government. The President had forwarded the LG’s report to the union cabinet.
Media reports said that that Delhi polls may be held as early as Dec 20 – along with the last phase of polling in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand – or are likely to be held in Jan-Feb next year.
The LG sent the report to the President a day after he met representatives from BJP, Congress and AAP to discuss possibility of government formation to end the eight-month-long political uncertainty in Delhi..
Jung first invited BJP for talks on whether it is interested in taking a shot at the power, being the single largest party in the Assembly. The BJP expressed its inability to form a government – currently BJP, along with ally Akali Dal’s lone MLA, has 29 legislators, five short of majority.
Reports said that a section of BJP MLAs was keen that the party explore options to form the government but the dominant view was against any attempt to grab power by manipulation.
Also, the party hopes that Modi magic will ensure victory in Delhi, especially in view of the party’s resounding victories in Maharashtra and Haryana.
The Lt Governor also invited AAP and Congress for talks on government formation although both the parties have been demanding fresh election and accused him of acting at the behest of BJP.
Both Congress and AAP have been maintaining that they were fully ready for fresh elections and accused BJP of running away from polls for “fear of defeat”.
The LG began consultations with political parties after the Supreme Court slammed him and the Centre for delay in taking a decision on government formation in Delhi, saying President’s Rule cannot go on forever.
BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the December Assembly polls winning 31 seats but fell four seats short of a simple majority. It had refused to form government then, saying it will not resort to any “unfair means” to take over the reins.
AAP had formed the government in Delhi with the support of Congress. The government led by Arvind Kejriwal had resigned on February 14 after the party’s pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress.