On borrowed time

AAP’s eroding base, flurry of revolts, allegations of corruption and nepotism, and the threat of disqualification of 21 MLAs endanger Delhi government’s survival

Published: 13th May 2017 10:06 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th May 2017 06:56 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Kejriwal government is involved in crisis management by the hour, bringing governance to a halt in Delhi. AAP sources say that forces smelling its fall after the MCD poll disaster are grouping to explore the possibility of even toppling the CM, leaving him with charge of just the party. They are emboldened by Kejriwal’s former mentor Anna Hazare’s threat to campaign against him if he doesn’t abdicate. The AAP chief’s worst nightmare could come true if the 21 MLAs of his party involved in cases of Office for Profit are disqualified. Says S K Sharma, former secretary of the Delhi Assembly, “The Election Commission’s decision to disqualify 21 MLAs will come in about two months and by-polls will be held. These will be treated as a mini election for the state, and will decide the future course of action.”

Going by AAP’s performance in the recent state polls and MCD elections, the political logarithm is against the party retaining the 21 seats. Says Leader of the Opposition in Delhi Assembly, Vijender Gupta, “AAP’s vote percentage is drastically down from 54 per cent in 2015 Assembly polls to 26 per cent now. BJP will win the maximum seats if elections are held in Delhi today.” AAP leaders refused to comment.

History of the Delhi Assembly reveals that previous governments have called the Special Assembly Sessions on very few occasions and that too in extraordinary circumstances. While the Congress government led by Sheila Dikshit held such sessions on three occasions in her 15 years of governance, the AAP government has convened it on at least seven occasions in its two years.

AAP’s Special Sessions have been known for controversies. During last week’s session, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta was marshalled out of the Assembly. Similarly, in June last year, the Assembly witnessed huge ruckus as BJP legislator Gupta stood on the bench after he was denied the chance to speak.
“Whenever they call a session, the objective is not to find solutions to the problems, the purpose is to hurl abuses at authorities. They are misusing it,” said S K Sharma, former secretary of Delhi Assembly.

Sessions held by AAP

May 9, 2017: AAP demonstrates how electronic voting machine can be hacked
Nov 15, 2016: Discuss situation arising after demonetisation
Sept 9, 2016: Target the Centre and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung over different issues
June 9-10, 2016: Discuss issues, including lack of cleanliness, and accusing the BJP-controlled civic bodies of turning city into a garbage bin
Dec 22, 2015: Debate the alleged Delhi and District Cricket Association scam in addition to discussing the role of inquiry of Commission
May 26-27, 2015: Discuss the Union Home Ministry’s notification granting supremacy to the L-G in matters pertaining to public order, police, land and services.
July 28, 2015: Form a panel to probe police inaction in cases of crime against women.

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