SC pulls up centre, LG over delaying Delhi govt formation

The court is hearing a petition by AAP that has asked for the Delhi assembly to be dissolved and hold fresh elections.

GN Bureau | October 28, 2014



The supreme court on Tuesday pulled up the centre and Delhi lieutenant governor (LG) Najeeb Jung for keeping the government formation in Delhi in a limbo even after eight months of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind kejriwal stepping down as the chief minister.

In a sharp remark SC said “in a democracy, President's rule cannot go on forever”, even as the centre submitted that president Pranab Mukherjee has given his nod to invite BJP, which is the single largest party to form a “popular government”.

The court is hearing a petition by AAP that has asked for the Delhi assembly to be dissolved and hold fresh elections.

LG should have taken a decision on government formation at the earliest and should not have taken this long; the apex court told additional solicitor general PS Narsimha who appeared for the centre.

"We gave you enough time but nothing happened and you always make one statement or the other on the day of hearing," the court said.

The court also questioned if the BJP has the numbers to form government.

"Suppose lieutenant governor is going to invite the largest party (BJP). Are they in a position to form the government?" it asked.

“If you had told us that we cannot take decision, we may have heard the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) petition and decided the matter either way,” it further said.

In an earlier hearing of the same petition, the SC had also said “alleged horse-trading” will be encouraged if the decision on forming the government was left pending.

As much as the BJP has been accusing Kejriwal of running away from the responsibility since he resigned after being the CM for 49 days in February, the AAP has accused the former for running away from the fresh elections fearing defeat.

“How will BJP form govt? They don't have nos. Why don't they just call elections? (sic), Kejriwal tweeted.

In another tweet he attacked the BJP by accusing them of “playing dirty tricks with the people of Delhi”.

The BJP on the other hand said Kejriwal is used to the politics of “hooting and scooting”.

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra told the media: “People gave Kerjiwal the mandate to govern Delhi, but in a hurry to become PM, Kejriwal left the people of Delhi in a limbo and went to Varanasi. Now that he has been taught a lesson, he is running back to Delhi and is hoping people will support him.”

The BJP had won 31 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly while AAP bagged 28 seats in the polls held last year. Since three of its MLAs, later, successfully contested lok sabha polls, including its then CM candidate Dr Harsh Vardhan, the party is currently short eight seats to get majority on the floor of the house.
 

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