SC asks Cong, BJP if they will form govt in Delhi

SC asks Cong, BJP if they will form govt in Delhi

SC asks Cong, BJP if they will form govt in Delhi

The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Congress and the BJP to clarify if they were ready to form an alternative government in Delhi, following resignation of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister.

A bench of justices R M Lodha and N V Ramana decided to seek the two major political parties’ views on the issue while hearing a petition by the AAP challenging the decision to keep the Delhi Assembly in suspended animation.

The court’s order came after Attorney General G E Vahanvati, appearing for the Centre, defended the promulgation of President’s Rule in the national capital territory, saying the situation was really fluid with the suspension of one MLA from the AAP. “If there is possibility of an alternative government, why not take a chance?” he submitted, adding, “There could be issue-based support also. We don’t know.”

The AG’s submission found favour with the court, which had initially observed, “If a party can support a person who has defeated its sitting chief minister, then anything can happen.” The court also pointed out that the Nationalist Congress Party, which supported the Congress at the Centre, was in opposition against it in North-Eastern states.

It went on to say, “Tomorrow, the Congress may support the BJP. It depends on who is enemy no 1. It is all a matter of perception. The Congress supported you (the AAP) to keep the other party out of power. Today’s enemy may be tomorrow’s friend.”

Senior advocate F S Nariman, however, opposed the AG’s contention, saying the Centre’s stand indicated it was waiting for defections to take place. He debunked all talks of formation of an alternative government, contending, “The reality is something different. All these things are speculation. The BJP said no to formation of government.” Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, also asked if the Delhi Assembly can be kept under suspended animation for future defections.

He said it required be considered by the court in which cases the governor’s recommendations for imposition of President’s rule are accepted.

Both counsel submitted that with the Centre’s decision to keep the Assembly under suspended animation, there would not be a government in Delhi for a year.

Their concern was also echoed by the court, which said, “What is worrying, legally and constitutionally, is that keeping the Assembly under suspended animation for a year may be harmful for democracy.”