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Supreme Court refers AAP’s petition to dissolve Delhi Assembly to Constitution Bench

A petition filed by Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party, or the AAP, for holding fresh elections in Delhi after dissolving the state assembly was referred to a Constitution Bench by the Supreme Court.

The Court, while referring the petition to a Constitution Bench, ruled at the same time that the pendency of the case would not prevent Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor from taking any decision on the dissolution of the state assembly.

Mr. Kejriwal, 45, resigned from the Delhi chief minister’s post on February 15 after being thwarted by the BJP and the Congress from introducing the Jan Lokpal Bill in the state assembly. President’s rule was imposed in the capital after his resignation, and the assembly placed under a spell of suspended animation. Efforts to cobble together an alternative coalition government have failed make any headway so far.

The AAP had submitted a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee, urging him to prevail upon the Centre to dissolve Delhi assembly, and order fresh polls. It also alleged that the BJP was trying to poach upon its lawmakers in an attempt to muster the numbers to form a government in the capital.

The AAP made a blockbuster debut in Delhi in December, bagging 29 of the 70 assembly constituencies. It finished only a couple of seats behind the BJP, the largest party. The Congress, which had ruled the capital for 15 years, suffered a rout, and was reduced to a mere eight seats.

Mr. Kejriwal became the chief minister of Delhi on December 28 with the help of the Congress, but resigned from the post 48 days later.

In the Lok Sabha polls, the AAP suffered dramatic reverses. It was blanked out in the capital, and could only win four seats in Punjab. Mr. Kejriwal himself was defeated by the BJP’s Narendra Modi, now the country’s Prime Minister, by a massive margin of 2.7 lakh votes in Varanasi.

Mr. Kejriwal admitted later that the decision to resign from the chief minister’s post was
“a big mistake.”

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