M A I N   N E W S

Govt paves way for Delhi polls
Cabinet okays House dissolution after months of stalemate, voting likely in Feb
Girja Shankar Kaura & Himani Chandel
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 4
The Union Cabinet today approved Lt Governor Najeeb Jung's recommendation to dissolve the Delhi Assembly, thus ending the eight-month-long political uncertainty in Delhi.

The recommendation of the Union Cabinet, which met this morning, paves the way for fresh elections in Delhi, which sources said could be held in early February, days before the President’s rule comes to an end on February 17.

During a meeting with Jung on Monday, all the major players — the BJP, AAP and Congress — had expressed their “inability” to form the government. Following this, the Lt Governor recommended the dissolution of the Delhi Assembly to President Pranab Mukherjee.

The President will now formally dissolve the Assembly paving the way for fresh polls. The bypolls for three seats will be cancelled. The bypolls to Krishna Nagar, Tughlaqabad and Mehrauli segments were scheduled for November 25. The last date for filing nominations was November 5, but none of the three political parties announced their candidates.

The Aam Aadmi Party demanded that elections in Delhi should be held along with Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal also blamed the BJP for delaying elections. On the other hand, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay said: "The BJP's stand on the government formation in Delhi has been very clear since December 8, 2013, that it will never engage in horse-trading to form the government.” He said the party would not declare a candidate for the chief ministerial post.

BJP sources said the party’s campaign in Delhi would be driven by the central leadership with Prime Minister Narendra Modi being the main face of electioneering. Modi was in favour of polls and that the RSS also conveyed its view that the party should not form the government adopting any "unfair means".

BJP sources say that the party is upbeat after its spectacular performance in Haryana and Maharashtra elections. The party cadre has been asked to refrain from attacking AAP, which may help resurrect it.

Lt Governor Jung had yesterday held consultations with the political parties in the wake of the Supreme Court putting the issue on the fast track and giving him time till November 11 to explore the possibility of forming a government.

The apex court was hearing AAP's petition seeking early dissolution of the Assembly which has been under suspended animation since February.

Sources said the LG had offered BJP a chance to form government, but the party declined saying it does not have the numbers. They said the decision not to accept an offer by the LG was taken at a meeting of top central leaders of the party on Sunday.

Back to people

Dec 4, 2013: Voting held for Delhi Assembly elections

Dec 8, 2013: Results declared. The BJP-Akali Dal combine wins 32 seats, AAP 28 and Congress 8

Dec 17, 2013: AAP seeks public opinion on government formation

Dec 28, 2013: Arvind Kejriwal takes oath as Delhi CM

Feb 10, 2014: Independent legislators withdraw support to AAP

Feb 14, 2014: Kejriwal resigns as Delhi CM over Jan Lokpal Bill

Feb 17, 2014: President’s rule imposed in Delhi





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