Delhi gets closer to re-election

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung calls Harsh Vardhan for a discussion on government formation.

The fate of Delhi has been hanging with none of the parties ready to form a government. With 32 seats, the BJP is the single-largest party in Delhi, followed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) with 28. While the is short of four candidates to form a government, AAP is adamant on not taking or extending support to either BJP or Congress.

Amidst the likelihood of a re-election, Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung has invited BJP Chief Ministerial candidate Harsh Vardhan for a discussion on government formation. Vardhan, who is currently in Chhatisgarh for Raman Singh’s swearing in ceremony, is expected to meet Jung late on Thursday after returning.

“The Honourable Lt-Governor has invited me for a discussion on Thursday, but I do not know the agenda. I informed him that I will be away in Chhattisgarh for the swearing-in ceremony of Raman Singh and would meet him in the evening,” Harsh Vardhan was reported saying.

Asked if the BJP would attempt to form a minority government in Delhi, Harsh Vardhan remained tight lipped. “I do not know what the agenda is, so it will be inappropriate to talk about this. This will become clear only tomorrow,” Harsh Vardhan said.

It should be noted that the BJP spokesperson Nitin Gandkari including other leaders have reiterated that the party would not stake claim to form the government in Delhi since it did not have the mandate. If Harsh Vardhan declines, Jung may offer the AAP a chance. However, AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal has also refused to form a government, saying he too did not have the mandate.

Earlier in the day, President Pranab Mukherjee sought information about government formation in Delhi from Jung. Ung is expected to call Arvind Kejrwal after talking to Harsh Vardhan and then send a report to home ministry after which a re-election can take place.

Jung had accepted Sheila Dikshit’s resignation as Chief Minister, thus completing the first step in forming the new government.

If the government is not formed, the President’s rule will be imposed in which case the Lt-Governor will run the government with the help of a group of advisors.

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