1:40 am - Monday December 17, 2018

Delhi Likely to Vote in February

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All three major parties – the BJP, the Congress, and Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party have said they currently are not in a position to form the government.That opinion was shared yesterday with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung, who acts as the Centre’s representative in Delhi.The Lieutenant Governor has therefore recommended that the current Delhi Assembly be dissolved.Rules state that elections must be held within six months of that happening.

Sources in the Election Commission say forlogistical reasons, they would like the polls to be held in February.The last election in Delhi saw the BJP winning the maximum seats, but not a majority. Arvind Kejriwal then formed a government propped by the Congress, but he quit office after a 49-day term.President’s Rule was then imposed in Delhi, a decision challenged by Mr Kejriwal in the Supreme Court.The top court recently attacked the Centre and the Lieutenant Governor for taking too long to decide whether elections should be called. The next hearing is scheduled for November 11.

Sources in the BJP say that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah prefer for their party to go through new elections, rather than trying to stitch together enough support to win a trust vote in the state legislature.Given the BJP’s big victories in last month’s election in Haryana and Maharashtra, the BJP hopes to get a decisive verdict in its favour in Delhi as well.The Congress has dared the Centre to hold elections in Delhi by December, along with the Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand polls. The Aam Aadmi Party too has sought elections at the earliest.

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