With BJP, AAP refusing to form government, L-G will recommend dissolution of the House or keep it under suspended animation

As uncertainty lingers over who will rule Delhi in view of the fractured verdict in the recent polls, sources said the fifth Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is deemed to have come into existence from December 11, when the Election Commission notified the poll results.

The fourth Assembly, headed by the then Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, has its term till December 17 this year.

As the Bharatiya Janata Party, which secured 31 seats, and the Aam Aadmi Party, which won 28 seats in the 70-member Assembly, are not willing to form the government, the Lieutenant-Governor had no choice except to either recommend dissolution of the Assembly or suggest “suspended animation” of the House, the option which finds no mention in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.

If the Assembly is dissolved straightaway, the newly-elected legislators will find a place in the Delhi legislature’s history for losing their membership without taking oath as members. This is because the Assembly cannot be convened by the Lieutenant-Governor even for allowing the members to take an oath without a Cabinet resolution for the Delhi Government, which is not there in the first place. MLAs are not eligible to get their salaries, perks and other facilities unless they take oath as members of the Assembly.

Sources said the term of the Assembly, which should not exceed five years as per Section 5 of the NCT Delhi Act, will be counted from the day its first session is held. So there is no question of new Assembly not being constituted before the due date of December 17. As “suspended animation” is only followed in some cases as a convention or precedent, the Lieutenant-Governor has no choice except to recommend for dissolution if he is satisfied that the government formation was not possible in the near future.

While the Congress won eight seats, the Janata Dal (United) has secured one seat. An independent Rambeer Shokeen won the Mundka Assembly seat.

Section 5 of NCT Delhi Act reads: The Legislative Assembly, unless sooner dissolved, shall continue for five years from the date of appointed for its first meeting and no longer, and the expiration of the said period of five years shall operate as a dissolution of the Assembly: provided that the said period may, while a Proclamation of Emergency issued under clause (1) of article 352 is in operation, be extended by the President by order for a period not exceeding one year at a time and not extending in any case beyond a period of six months after the Proclamation has ceased to operate.

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