AAP, Congress rubbish BJP's 'secret ballot' idea

Written by Dipankar Ghose | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 8 2014, 15:55pm hrs
With the BJP now exploring the option of a 'secret ballot' in the Delhi Assembly with a view to form the government, both the AAP and Congress have rubbished its legal and constitutional validity.

A secret ballot will enable the House to choose its leader. We have been told that the Lt-Governor is pondering the option and it is his prerogative. As far as peoples perceptions are concerned they will know that MLAs do not want elections, BJP state unit president Satish Upadhyay said.

Sources in the AAP rubbished the secret ballot and called it illegal. Misinformation is being spread about the legal precedent in this case the Jagdambika Pal case. In the case, there is no mention of a secret ballot. During the floor test, each member had declared his support to either Kalyan Singh or Jagdambika Pal and signed his name. In fact one MLA only ticked Kalyan Singhs name and his vote was not counted by the Speaker. Also in another case in 2003, when Mulayam Singh wanted to form the government in UP, he approached the Governor. At the time, he was asked to show a list of MLAs supporting him on the floor of the House. In this case, the BJP has not approached L-G Najeeb Jung, and have not conveyed that they have the numbers, a source in the AAP said.

AAP leaders also pointed out that the powers of recognition and procedures in the Delhi Assembly stood with the Speaker and not with the L-G.

Sources in the Congress said that the BJP was misleading the public by referring to a secret ballot. There is no mention of secret ballot in the National Capital Territory Act. I do not know what the BJP is referring to. If this was possible, the BJP could have used it in 1998 when the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government collapsed, a senior leader said.

Addressing a rally on Sunday, Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said that the BJP should announce the names of MLAs supporting them before forming a government in Delhi.