People of Delhi (unlike other 4 states which went to polls) have given a fractured mandate. Though the vote is clearly anti-Congress, it has got divided between new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and BJP. While BJP emerged as the single largest party with 32 seats, AAP got 28, Congress 8 and Others 2 seats in 70 member assembly. To form the govt. you require simple majority of 36 votes.
As soon as the results were declared BJP and AAP could see that they don’t have the numbers. BJP leader Harshvardhan took on the moral stand that his party won’t engage in horse trading while AAP has been saying all along that it won’t give / take support to / from Congress / BJP as it fought elections against them and they are corrupt, blah, blah, blah… Fair point Kejriwalji. Anybody and everybody apart from AAPians are corrupt and you / your party members are the most honest people in this world.
Congress spokesperson Shakeel Ahmed, on the other hand, first said that it could support AAP, then backtracked fearing backlash from Rahul / Sonia. AAP had unleashed a massive anti Congress campaign and abused Congress / its leaders and hence difficult to imagine Congress supporting.
Re-elections loomed large on the people of Delhi. Additional tax payer’s money to be spent, actually why should people of other parts of country pay for Delhi’s mistake for being indecisive. The cost of re-elections should be borne by the people of Delhi only. Aisa karke kya mila – Babaji ka thullu. In effect it is still a vote for the Congress as it will rule the state for another 6 months or so through their Governor. How many more months people who voted for AAP would not pay their electricity bills? People have seen what no governance means – UPA govt. at center is not doing anything for the past 1 year or so. It hurts economy, jobs, prices, everything.
Amidst all this President called Lt. Governor of Delhi Najeeb Jung to discuss govt. formation. He in turn called Harshvardhan and Kejriwal to explore possibilities of govt. formation.
There are three possibilities:
(i) BJP forming the govt.
BJP leader met the Governor and told him that his party is not in a position to form government. BJP praised itself for taking a moral stand and not indulging in unfair practices to get govt. by hook or crook. However, if you see they didn’t have any choice? One of the independents is a JDU Muslim MLA so no chance of him supporting. Other openly said would support only if Modi calls him. So with him, they were 33 MLAs, still 3 short of majority. There were only 2 ways in which BJP could have formed govt. – split Congress or AAP. To not invite anti defection law they needed 3 Congress MLAs (out of 8) or 10 AAP MLAs (out of 28) to revolt. In Congress 5 Muslim candidates have won plus one Sikh who is a long time loyalist. Weaning away 10 AAP MLAs is a big task, could have split it if they got 10-12 seats only. To carry out a effective split you need 1/3rd support of MLAs of a particular party. So effectively it had no chance.
(ii) AAP forming the govt. (50% probability)
Kejriwal is expected to meet Governor today. Even if both independent MLAs support AAP, it still falls 6 short of majority. It can’t split Congress or BJP doesn’t have the skills being a new entrant. So it can’t form government without Congress / BJP support. It has said categorically that it won’t take their support. Hence even AAP can’t form govt. and they have re-iterated many times that they will sit in opposition. It’s a mockery of democracy, the largest and the 2nd largest party both want to sit in opposition. Then who will sit in ruling party’s chair?
Meanwhile strategists of Rahul have impressed upon him and his mother that it would be beneficial for Congress to support AAP. Congress has already shot off its unconditional letter of support to Governor it is reported in media circles. Congress wounded by huge loss in 3 states (3-0) somehow wants to make it 3-1 to avoid humiliation. They don’t want BJP govt. to be formed in Delhi at any cost. Other reason being they want to show to public that they have helped a new party of principles to form the govt. and earn brownies points. Public is not so foolish Rahulji. They have managed to create confusion in AAP though. The party which has said all along it won’t take support from corrupt parties now stands divided and some leaders have already started talking of accepting support from Congress if they support Jan Lokpal Bill. So what are Kejriwal’s options?
Take Support of Congress and Form Govt.
Reject Support from Congress
(i) You get to form govt. and implement your policies.
(ii) There is no guarantee AAP will come back with majority when re-elections take place (however confident they appear).
(iii) Mauke pe chauka, is case mein chakka.
Reasons to be given to public:
(i) We are trying to save expenditure on re-election.
(ii) Trying to strengthen secular forces in the country as communal forces in full swing.
(iii) Congress support is unconditional and they are willing to implement Anna’s Jan Lokpal Bill without any dilutions.
They have to be wary of Congress though. It has the habit of propping up weak govts. in the past and pulling the plug as they wish – Chandrasekhar, Deve Gowda and Gujral – at the center are examples.
Plus ideologically they are close to Congress.
(i) Gain moral high. Go to public in re-election and show that we are not power hungry.
(ii) Sticking to its stand of not taking support from either Congress / BJP.
(iii) Party hopeful of coming with majority anyway if re-elections happen anyway 6 months down the line.
(iv) Might get the unpredictable Anna to support.
(v) Will do good for their national ambitions.
Answers for Kejriwal are not easy. Knowing him he might reject support from Congress. Lets see what he does?
(iii) Re-elections (50% probability)
If Kejriwal today says no to Governor then we are in a spell of President’s rule in Delhi. It will then be in Congress hands when to have re-elections.
(a) If re-elections happen alongwith Lok Sabha elections BJP will win comfortably according to me. It would get swayed by Modi wave which will be at its peak by then.
(b) If it happens earlier, AAP could win if its able to maintain momentum. Somehow people just want to teach politicians a lesson and see what these newcomers could do.
(c) If re-elections happen after Lok Sabha, then party who is at Center will win in Delhi. Delhities would like to go that party because a lot of things in Delhi is still under Central Govt. control.
Interesting times ahead, what do you guys feel?