As confusion prevails over government formation in Delhi, in view of the fractured verdict given by voters, constitutional experts say the Lt. Governor has the choice of recommending the “suspended animation” of the Assembly only if he feels there is a possibility of government formation in the near future.
“Otherwise, there is no choice for him except to recommend to the Union government that the House be dissolved — if the BJP or the AAP does not come forward to form a government and prove its majority in the Assembly,” said noted constitutional expert P.D.T. Achary.
Mr. Achary, former Secretary-General of the Lok Sabha, said there were no written rules on inviting the single largest party or the second largest party to form the government. “It is just a convention which is being followed throughout the country,” he said adding that the Lt. Governor could straightway recommend the dissolution of the House if he did not see any possibility of government formation in the near future.
“Anyway it is for the President to accept or not to accept the decision, based on the recommendations of the Union Cabinet,” Mr. Achary said adding that as soon as the results were declared and the election certificates given to the newly elected members, the Delhi Assembly’s new House was deemed to have come into existence.
Irrespective of whether or not the new members had taken the oath of office, the Lt. Governor could dissolve the Assembly or keep it under suspended animation if no party could form the government. Although there was no time limit on keeping the House under suspended animation, it should not exceed a reasonable period, he said.
Election Commission sources said they had no role now as they could act only if the vacancy or dissolution of the House was notified.