Political deadlock continues, Prez Rule likely in Delhi

Last Updated 15 December 2013, 14:17 IST

A spell of President's Rule loomed large in Delhi as the political deadlock continued over formation of a government in the national capital even eight days after announcement of outcome of the election that returned a hung verdict.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung yesterday sent a detailed report to President Pranab Mukherjee about the current political situation and mentioned that government-formation in Delhi was not possible now.

The tenure of the current assembly will end on December 18 and President's Rule has to be imposed after that if a government is not put in place by then, top officials said.

They said Jung was now waiting for a directive from the Centre.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had yesterday put the onus on Congress and BJP for taking its support to form a government by putting forth 18 conditions and wanting to know their views on them, a move seen as an attempt to rebut criticism that it was shying away from taking responsibility.

BJP, along with its ally Akali Dal's one seat, has 32 MLAs in the 70-member House while AAP has 28 seats followed by Congress' eight. JD(U) won one seat while the Mundka seat went to an Independent.

BJP had declined to form government citing lack of majority following which Jung had invited AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal to discuss government formation.

In a surprise move, Congress had on Friday submitted a letter to the Lt Governor extending "unconditional support" to AAP to form government.

Meanwhile, BJP today attacked AAP saying the party was not interested in forming the government as it will not be able to fulfil the promises made in its manifesto.

AAP had promised to cut power tariff by 50 per cent and supply 700 litres of water free to each household daily.

"AAP is scared of being exposed. There are apparent contradictions in its stand as, on one hand, AAP leaders are criticising other political parties and then it is writing letters to them about support in forming the government," Delhi BJP president Vijay Goel said.

"It is unfortunate that AAP has turned the process of government formation into a political drama. The formation of government is a serious process and it should not be used for petty political gains," Goel said.

"All of us have witnessed how despite an offer of unconditional support from Congress, AAP is deliberately delaying to clear its stand on this issue," he said.

The BJP leader wondered why Kejriwal had written letters to his party and Congress to know their stand on 18 issues when they "had taken oath on their children that they will not have anything to do with either BJP or Congress.

"I would like AAP to clear its stand for once and all whether it is forming the government in Delhi or not. It has no right to humiliate the Delhi residents with such brazen show of political arrogance that makes a mockery of democratic processes.

"BJP is the single largest party and the first choice of the people in Delhi and yet, like always, it has shown humility in accepting the verdict of the voters. But AAP, unfortunately, has failed to respect the aspirations of common people," Goel said.

During the meeting, Kejriwal had given Jung copies of the letters he had written to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh seeking their views on a list of 18 issues that included ending VIP culture in the capital, audit of electricity companies and removal of MLA local funds scheme.

After meeting Jung, Kejriwal had yesterday said he had not sought any time from the Lt Governor for government formation. He claimed that the LG told him he could come back when he has majority.

Attacking BJP, he said its intentions were evident from the moment they refused to form the government and stated they were not interested in "manipulative politics and horse trading" when they had allegedly done so in other states.

The AAP leader said his party's stand was clear from day one that it would not take or give support to Congress or BJP.

AAP was formed by the common people due to alleged corrupt and criminal politics of both the parties and it was now not possible to join hands with these parties, he said.

In his letters to Gandhi and Singh, Kejriwal had sought the views of Congress and BJP on the issue of ending VIP culture in the national capital.

No minister, MLA or officer would use a red-beacon fitted vehicle, demand no security for themselves and not reside in big bungalows.

The other demands were ending the MLA or corporator fund scheme and allotment of the same money through Mohalla Sabha for development of local areas, besides giving power to people to decide on expenditure.

AAP also sought their views on the passage of Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi and asked would they still support his government if their leaders were found involved in corruption.

Kejriwal asked whether Congress and BJP would support AAP on giving more decision-making power to Mohalla Sabhas, giving full statehood to Delhi and audit of accounts of electricity companies.

Following Kejriwal's announcement, Congress' Delhi unit hit out at AAP for trying to "avoid responsibilities" and dared it to respect the mandate.

"Congress has extended support so that AAP can form the government as they got the mandate from the people of Delhi. AAP has sent the long list only to avoid responsibilities," Congress MLA and former Power Minister Haroon Yusuf said.

(Published 15 December 2013, 14:17 IST)

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