When Arvind Kejriwal, who was elected as the chief minister of Delhi decided to demit office on 14 February earlier this year, in spite of just being for 49 days in office, little did he know that the impasse that he was leaving behind will exceed much more than its stipulated constitutional time.
Delhi came under the president’s rule on 17 February 2014; three days after Kejriwal absolved himself of the mandate after continuing with a love-hate relationship that his Aam Aadmi Party shared with the Congress.
Today, more than eight and a half months have elapsed and still the National Capital Territory of Delhi does not have a chief minister. Article 356 of the Indian Constitution clearly states that president’s rule in a state through the titular head’s state representative- the governor cannot exceed beyond six months then why has the political stalemate in Delhi failed to come to an end? How come the excess two and a half months have not come to the Central government’s notice? Or should we assume that the statement of a BJP heavyweight and also a union minister in the present Narendra Modi government that the party is open to elections in Delhi and may not indulge in horse trading to form government is nothing but mere hogwash?
Neither Delhi is witnessing fresh elections and nor does there seem any effort from the largest party in the Delhi Assembly which too is clearly three short from the 34 seats magical number in the 70 seat house to get them conducted at the earliest. In fact the manner BJP has lambasted the apex court in an unanticipated turn of events that it cannot dictate terms to the president to dissolve the Delhi Assembly is clearly reflective of the political ambitions that the party is harbouring. Nobody knows what is stopping it from getting fresh elections conducted but people who can clearly read between lines and can understand what is right and what is wrong can sense that something is amiss.
If the Aam Aadmi Party and the severely depleted Congress which just months ago was at the helm at the centre are accusing BJP of being diabolical in its approach, what wrong are they committing? Delhi, upon which statehood has been bestowed under the special Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 is a specially administered zone. The national capital is now home to more than 16 million people and the footfall is increasing by the day and shall also continue to do so. The issues cannot be left to the whims and fancies of a Lieutenant Governor who refuses to act and a centre which can foresee vested interest.