Jung invites parties for talks to end political uncertainty

Jung invites parties for talks to end political uncertainty

Jung invites parties for talks to end political uncertainty

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today invited main parties -- BJP, Congress and AAP -- for talks, kick-starting fresh efforts to install an elected government and will take a final decision soon to end the eight-month- long political uncertainty in Delhi.

Sources in LG's office said a "final decision" on the political situation is likely to be taken at the earliest based on views of the three political parties.

Jung first invited BJP for talks on whether it is interested in taking a shot at the power, being the single largest party in the Assembly.

Sources in BJP said the dominant view in the party is that it should go for polls and not take power by "manipulation" as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rating was still going "high" and enthusiasm among the party workers has increased following victories in assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.

"We are preferring elections. There is little possibility of the party forming a government in Delhi," a senior Delhi BJP leader told PTI, adding a final decision on the issue will be taken by the top leadership in a day or two.

Earlier, Delhi BJP Chief Satish Upadhyay and Union Minister Harsh Vardhan called on Jung. The meeting was described by the party as "informal".

The Lt Governor also invited AAP and Congress for talks on government formation although both the parties have been demanding fresh election and accused him of acting at the behest of BJP.

Both Congress and AAP have been maintaining that they were fully ready for fresh elections and accused BJP of running away from polls for "fear of defeat".

The LG last week had decided to begin consultations with political parties after the Supreme Court slammed him and the Centre for delay in taking a decision on government formation in Delhi, saying President's Rule cannot go on forever.

Earlier, the Election Commission announced bypolls to three assembly constituencies in Delhi which fell vacant after BJP MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha.

The three seats of the 70-member assembly fell vacant in May after sitting BJP legislators Harsh Vardhan, Pravesh Verma and Ramesh Bidhuri were elected to the Lok Sabha.

Delhi is under President's Rule after the resignation of AAP government in February.

Lt Governor Najeeb Jung had not favoured dissolution of Delhi assembly as recommended by the council of ministers headed by Kejriwal and kept the assembly in suspended animation.

The Lt Governor had last month sent a report to President Pranab Mukherjee seeking permission to invite BJP to form a government in Delhi. The Centre last week informed the Supreme Court that the President allowed Jung to invite the single largest party.

Currently BJP, along with ally Akali Dal's lone MLA, has 29 legislators and will require the support of five more MLAs to prove majority in the 67-member Assembly if it decides to form government.

BJP had emerged as the single largest party in the December Assembly polls winning 31 seats but fell four seats short of a simple majority. It had refused to form government then, saying it will not resort to any "unfair means" to take over the reins.

AAP had formed the government in Delhi with the support of Congress. The government led by Arvind Kejriwal had resigned on February 14 after the party's pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress.