Assembly elections in the national capital are likely to be held early next year.”The Union Cabinet recommended dissolution of the Delhi Assembly with immediate effect,” a senior Union Minister said after the brief meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
The decision came after the Cabinet considered the report of Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung in which he had suggested dissolution of the year-old Assembly after his meeting with the BJP, AAP and Congress.
The report by Jung paved the way for holding of fresh polls in the capital which is under President’s Rule since February after the AAP government quit after ruling for 49 days.
The Union Cabinet is likely to take a decision on Jung’s report soon.
Sources in the Lt Governor’s office said Jung in his report to President Pranab Mukherjee mentioned that all three main political parties BJP, AAP and Congress expressed inability to form government and conveyed that they were ready to face fresh election.
With all the three main parties favouring fresh mandate, the LG recommended to the President dissolution of the Assembly.
The LG held consultations on Monday with political parties in the wake of the Supreme Court putting the issue on the fast track and giving him time till 11th November to explore the possibility of forming a government.
The court was hearing AAP’s petition seeking early dissolution of the Assembly which has been under suspended animation since February after the fall of the AAP government.
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 Lt Governor to take a shot at power was taken at a meeting of top central leaders of the party on Sunday.
The party felt it should go for polls as enthusiasm among the party workers has increased following victories in assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.
The sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was in favour of polls and that the RSS had also conveyed its view that the party should not form government adopting any unfair means.
Currently BJP, along with ally Akali Dal’s lone MLA, has 29 legislators and would have required support of five more MLAs to form a government and prove majority in the 67-member Assembly.
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 Kejriwal had resigned on 14th February after the party’s pet project, the Janlokpal Bill, could not be passed due to opposition from BJP and Congress.
President’s Rule was imposed on 17th February.
Jung had not favoured dissolution of the 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 the President 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 BJP.
Delhi BJP stressed that its stand on government formation has been clear since December last year that it would never engage in horse-trading to come to power in the national capital.
“BJP’s stand on government formation in Delhi has been very clear since December 8, 2013, that it will never engage in horse-trading to form the government,” said Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyay.
After the results of the Assembly polls in December last year, the then Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhanhad declined to form a government, saying the party did not have the required numbers.
Officials said if the Union Cabinet accepts Jung’s report and dissolves the Assembly, the EC will cancel bypolls to three Assembly constituencies.
The bypolls are scheduled for 25th November and the last date of filing of nomination is Wednesday.