Hung Assembly in Delhi - Road map from here


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A Note on the options available to the Lt-Governor for resolving the Hung Assembly situation in Delhi

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Hung Assembly in Delhi - Road map from here

  1. 1. 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
  2. 2. appointment of the Chief Minister when no single party gets majority in the Legislative Assembly elections. 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.
  3. 3. 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 direct control. The Lt Governor will appoint a team of advisors to help him run the affairs in Delhi during these six months. 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.