Hung assembly, unlikely!

The results are due to be declared on 8 and 9 December, 2013.  Out of the five assemblies – MP, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Delhi and Mizoram – Delhi has become a focal point as the political analysts have been keenly awaiting the poll results in the Capital, which are bound to affect the national scenario.  Moreover, if the projections made in a slew of pre-poll surveys are taken into account, the situation looks confusing.  There is a matter of concern as the surveys have either been talking of a hung house or are busy disseminating different and conflicting projections.  The people have started questioning the authenticity and reliability of the pre poll surveys either conducted by certain political parties or by sympathisers of those very parties.  The size and methodology of the surveys have also created doubts over one-sided projections that have been the result of the opinion poll exercises.

Let us go back to the electoral history of Delhi. The administrative and legislative structure of Delhi has not remained the same, and it kept on changing from time to time.  It was a C category state with a 48-member strong elected legislature and a council of ministers to advise the chief commissioner.  The state had less executive and legislative powers than the other C states.  For a long time, comprising 10 years from 1956 to 1966, there was no legislative set up in Delhi.  The set up was revived as a 56-member elected metropolitan council, with a few nominated members, a chief executive councilor and other four colleagues as executive councilors to advise the LG on certain matters (since metropolitan council had no legislative powers).

  This set up continued up to 1990 , when the union government decided to introduce the latest set up under the proposed government of the NCT of Delhi.  Under this system, a 70-member elected assembly and a council of six ministers headed by the chief minister came into existence in 1993.
Delhi witnessed nine elections to the C-category state assembly/ metropolitan council/  government of NCT Delhi assembly during 1952 to 2008. The election process for the next assembly is on. The main fight throughout had been between the two political parties, i.e. the Congress and the Bhartiya Jansangh/ Janata Party / Bhartiya Janata Party. There had been no occasion of a hung house in the elections. The Congress secured majority six times, whereas the saffron party, in its different incarnations, got majority thrice. The electorates had been wise enough to give a clear mandate all the times, leaving no scope of any instability, horse trading and defection. The Congress secured clean sweep in 1952, 1977 and 1993, limiting the saffron party strength respectively to 5, 5 and 15. The saffron camp had a clean sweep in 1977 and 1993, limiting the Congress party to 10 and 14 respectively.  The strength of the opposition party had been varying between 5 and 23 in different houses. The ruling party strength in 70-member assembly had been highest at 52 for the Congress in 1998 and at 49 for the BJP in 1993.

The Congress secured 39 out of 48 seats in 1952 assembly elections. Brahma Praksh and Gurmukh Nihal Singh, one after another, served as the CM till 1956. The BJP secured 33 in the 56-member metropolitan council elections in 1967 and V K Malhotra continued as the CEC throughout the term up to 1972.  The Congress emerged victorious in the second and the fourth metropolitan council elections in 1972 and 1983 securing 44 out of 56 and 34 out of 56 seats respectively. In 1967, L K Advani, as a nominated member, was appointed as the chairman of the council. In the third metropolitan elections in 1977, the then Janata Party, dominated by the saffron elements, secured a landslide victory, managing 46 out of 56 seats. K N Sahni was the CEC. In 1993, the first assembly elections, the BJP secured 46 of 70 seats, and then went on to install three CMs one after another till 1998. They were M L Khurana, Sahib Singh and Sushma Swaraj.

The Congress party secured the majority in 1998, 2003 and 2008 in the 70-member assembly securing 52, 47 and 43 seats respectively. Sheila Dikshit continued as the CM during last 15 years. The trend of the results, right from 1952 to 2008, had been similar as the fight remained between the two major parties, with minimal role of the fringe parties, thereby ensuring no scope of a hung house.

It is expected that the trend would continue in the fifth Assembly elections in 2013.  One of the two major parties would get an absolute majority.  The fight would be between the Congress and the BJP, whereas AAP may act like a fringe party. Delhiites would take a conscious decision to give a clear mandate to one of the two major parties. Kejriwal would not be allowed to act like a Paswan and  impose re-election, in case the Delhi house actually emerges as hung.
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