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AAP contests central rule

New Delhi, Feb. 20: Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today moved the Supreme Court challenging the Centre’s decision to keep the Delhi Assembly under suspended animation instead of dissolving it.

The decision was taken with an apparent malafide intention to protect leaders, including former Congress chief minister Sheila Dikshit, against whom the 49-day AAP government had launched corruption investigations, Kejriwal’s party said its petition filed through counsel Kamini Jaiswal and Rohit Singh.

The plea seeks a directive to the Centre to dissolve the Assembly and hold elections. President rule was imposed in Delhi on February 15, a day after Kerjiwal resigned following his failure to table the Jan Lokpal Bill.

The plea claims the Centre’s decision is meant to allow the Congress to rule Delhi indirectly and “frustrate” the graft probes. One of the investigations relates to Union minister Veerappa Moily, his predecessor Murli Deora and Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani for alleged collusion in hiking gas prices.

“Apparently, the motive behind not dissolving the Assembly and holding a fresh election is to allow a party which had badly lost the Delhi election to govern indirectly…as the same party is in power in the Centre,” the AAP plea said.

The decision is “also to frustrate the ongoing investigations under FIRs recently lodged by the (AAP) Delhi government”. “Thus, the decision is not only arbitrary & illegal and in violation of the democratic rights of the citizens of Delhi but also malafide,” the petition said.

As both the BJP and the Congress had expressed unwillingness to form a government, the only option before the President was to dissolve the Assembly and conduct fresh elections, as recommended by the outgoing AAP government, the plea said.

“By way of the impugned order, the citizens of Delhi have been denied their democratic right to have an elected popular government.”