Fresh assembly polls in Delhi? L-G Najeeb Jung sends status report on govt formation to MHA

Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung

New Delhi, Nov 4: Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, who met the BJP leaders as well as leaders from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday, has sent a status report to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) over government formation in Delhi.

According to reports, after holding the meeting with all the parties at the Raj Niwas to explore the possibility of government formation in Delhi, the LG would be sending his report to President Pranab Mukherjee.

It may be noted that Delhi has been under President’s Rule since February after Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP government stepped down after 49 days in power.

The BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal coalition has 29 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly. The alliance had won 32 seats in the Delhi Assembly polls held last year, but three BJP MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha in the general elections. The AAP had won 28 seats in the polls.

Earlier on Monday, top sources in BJP reportedly said the party has already taken “an in principle” decision of not taking power and top leadership has already conveyed to the city unit to make preparations for polls soon.

So Delhi appears to be heading for fresh polls with BJP, the single largest party, giving clear indication of not forming a minority government in the national capital and preferring fresh election.

BJP sources said Delhi BJP President Satish Upadhyay met Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung on Monday morning. Upadhyay, according to sources, conveyed BJP’s point of view in the meeting. The LG’s office, however, refused to comment.

The Congress too is reportedly looking forward to improving its fortune in Delhi and has conveyed to the Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung their desire for fresh elections in the national capital.

Senior Congress leader Haroon Yusuf on Monday said that people in Delhi are suffering because of the absence of a government. “Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party were trying to form the government through different means. We told the L-G that we want fresh elections. The house should be dissolved and elections should be held,” Yusuf said

Delhi is in its eighth month of President’s rule after the resignation of the Arvind Kejriwal government on February 14.

BJP sources added they expect the election to be held by February next year.

In the 70-member Delhi House, the BJP and its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has 29 MLAs – down from 32 after its legislators Harsh Vardhan, Ramesh Bidhuri and Pravesh Verma were elected to the Lok Sabha. The AAP has 27 members, while the Congress has eight.

A lot is at stake for the AAP in Delhi. After its dismal showing in the April-May general elections – the party contested more than 400 seats and won just four – it is desperate to retain its foothold in Delhi.

Positive response to Kejriwal’s recent rallies is believed to have given the AAP a shot in the arm.

The Delhi BJP, which won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi in the 2014 elections, seems upbeat following the party’s pan-India success story – the most recent chapters of which were scripted in Maharashtra and Haryana.

(With Agency Inputs)

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