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10/31/2014 Ending the impasse in Delhi - The Hindu

Opinion Editorial

Ending the impasse in Delhi

With the Supreme Court setting a deadline for Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung to exhaust the possibilities of forming a
government in Delhi, the political impasse in the National Capital Territory is bound to end soon. After Aam Aadmi
Party leader Arvind Kejriwal stepped down as Chief Minister in February, the Assembly was kept in suspended
animation without any immediate prospect of a popular government being put in place. The BJP was unable to form
a government, and the AAP was unwilling to do so with outside support from the Congress; the end result was that
there was no forward movement in the efforts to have an elected government in Delhi. While the AAP was impatient
for a fresh election, apprehensive as it was of attempts by the BJP to win over its MLAs, the BJP, having failed to get
the numbers, seemed to be waiting to get the timing right for a fresh election. Quite rightly, the Supreme Court noted
that Presidents Rule could not go on forever with the Assembly in suspended animation.
Given the numbers in the Delhi Assembly, it is unlikely that Mr. Jungs efforts to ensure the formation of a
government would yield any result. The BJP is unlikely to get offers of outside support, and even a minority
government headed by the party seems a remote possibility. Understandably, many of the BJPs MLAs do not want
another election so soon. Going by the results of the Lok Sabha election, the BJP as a party is likely to do well if an
election were to be held any time soon. But not all the MLAs are looking forward to spending more time and money to
retain the seats they won just a year ago. Now that by-elections to three constituencies have been called by the
Election Commission, the BJP would ideally like to wait for the results before ruling out the possibility of forming a
government. But with the Supreme Court beginning to show impatience, a fresh election may have to be held sooner
than later. The AAP, which during its 49 days in power took quite a few populist measures, must be hoping the voters
still retain some goodwill for the party. If it failed to repeat its Assembly election success in the Lok Sabha election,
this was because voters felt it did not stay the course and took the exit door at the first opportunity. In pushing for a
fresh election before the Supreme Court, the AAP must be calculating that the voters would give it another chance.
Delhi was supposed to be its launch pad for a national foray, but after having failed miserably in the Lok Sabha
election, and having stayed away from both the Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly elections, the AAP seems to have
whittled down its ambitions. The party will have to get its Delhi act right first, before it does anything else.
Keywords: Delhi government formation, BJP, Aam Aadmi Party, Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, President's Rule, National
Capital Territory, Delhi Assembly
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