HUNG ASSEMBLY IN DELHI – NOW WHAT?
A problem has arisen in the wake of the recent political trends in the Delhi Legislative Assembly
Elections, 2013, where no single party seems to have got the majority of the 70 odd seats. It is
imperative for us to understand the constitutional ramifications of such a situation. Often termed
as a ‘Hung Assembly’, such Legislative Assembly is the center of controversies of all sorts.
Article 163(1) of the Constitution clearly states that there 'shall' be a Council of Ministers, and
the onus of appointing the same lies with the Governor, in whom the executive power of the
State is vested, vide Article 154(1). In doing so the Governor is supposed to abide by the
constitutional provisions especially carry on his duty under Article 159 i.e. to preserve, defend
and protect the Constitution. Hence it becomes imperative to analyze the role of the Governor in the
appointment of the Chief Minister when no single party gets majority in the Legislative Assembly
Step 1- Inviting the single largest political party, i.e. the BJP with 32 seats
The man in the eye of the storm, L-G Najeeb Jang will invite the BJP's chief ministerial candidate for
New Delhi, Dr. Harsh Vardhan, to form a minority government.
Firstly, in order to form a minority government, Mr. Vardhan will have to rely on a trust vote and
abstentions from the AAP and the Congress MLA’s on the floor of the assembly. This is likely to leave
the party on shaky grounds even if it does form a government.
Secondly, if the BJP wants to prove a majority, then it will have to reach out and win over the two
independent candidates who won their seats and BJP rebel Rambir Shokeen. If these three agree to
support the good doctor, then BJP will have 35 seats in its favour. But to prove a majority, it will
need one more candidate which could possibly be JD(U)'s Shoaib Iqbal, who incidentally has
stated that he would not support the BJP.
Step 2 – Inviting the second largest political party, i.e. AAP with 28 seats
If BJP turns down the L-G’s invite or is not able to form the government with the required number
of seats, then L-G has to invite leader of the second largest party, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal of AAP. As
reported by the media, the radical reformist has still maintained that AAP does not believe in
coalition politics and would prefer to sit in opposition as it does not have the requisite number to
form a government.
Step 3 – President’s Rule
In case both BJP and AAP turn down the invite to form the government, L-G Jang would be left with
no choice but to recommend President’s rule in Delhi and even recommend the dissolution of the
new assembly, paving the way for fresh polls.
Hence, President's Rule will be implemented for a period of six months in Delhi post December 17,
2013, once the present tenure of the ruling government expires, and re-elections will be held at the
end of the stipulated six month period simultaneously with the 2014 General elections.
During these six months, L-G Najeeb Jang will exercise the role of a chief executive of the Delhi
government as representative of the President in the state.
Though the Delhi Police and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) already come under L-G
Jung’s direct control, in this scenario he will now additionally handle water and sewer issues. He will
also supervise the area under New Delhi Municipal Council. Additionally, the CEO of the Delhi Jal
Board and vice-chairman of the New Delhi Municipal Council who reported to the chairperson, the
Chief minister of Delhi, will now report to the Lt Governor. Also, the chief secretary of Delhi, who
reported to the Chief minister, will now report to the L-G. All Delhi government departments, i.e.
health, transport, social welfare, education, public works, food and supplies etc will be under his
The Lt Governor will appoint a team of advisors to help him run the affairs in Delhi during these six
Thus, post December 17, there will be a lot of eyes on the Lieutenant Governor, until Delhi votes
again and hopes that the second time, one party would get a clear mandate to form the government.