The eight month long suspense over the fate of Delhi assembly and government has ended with the capital heading for fresh elections. On Monday, the three major political parties - BJP, AAP and Congress - informed Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung that government formation was not possible in the present circumstances and pressed for immediate dissolution of the assembly. The LG sent a report on the matter to President Pranab Mukherjee.
This will mark the first time in almost a decade that assembly elections will be held in a state within such a short span of time. Bihar had gone to the polls in February 2005 and then in October 2005 under a similiar set of circumstances. After a flip-flop over government formation that stretched over months, BJP finally told the LG, when he invited the party for consultations on Monday, that it would be unable to form a government. The LG's invitation came three days after the Supreme Court commended his efforts for resolving the stalemate in the capital. The BJP, which is the single largest party in the assembly with 29 seats, including one ally, said it didn't have the requisite numbers. Sources said PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah were also in favour of seeking a fresh mandate rather than trying to cobble together a majority. With its government at the Centre and the party performing very well in Maharashtra and Haryana in the recent assembly elections, BJP is confident of getting an absolute majority in Delhi.
Even winning all three seats in by-polls would not have helped BJP return to office in the state after a gap of 15 years.Three seats - Tughlaqabad, Krishna Nagar and Mehrauli - in the 70-seat assembly fell vacant after three BJP MLAs were elected to the Lok Sabha. For full majority, a party would have needed at least 36 seats, a number none of the parties was able to muster.
Though fresh polls are now certain, the process of by-polls will continue till Election Commission of India strikes down the notification, which may not happen till next week. This means that political parties will have to declare their candidates for the by-polls before the last date of filing nominations on November 5.