“Will Destroy Democracy”: Rajya Sabha Erupts Over Centre’s Delhi Bill


You want to make the Lieutenant Governor the ‘government’, Mallikarjun Kharge said (File)

New Delhi:

A Bill that gives the centre more power over Delhi, passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday, caused repeated disruptions in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday with the opposition calling it “dangerous” legislation.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 has been passed in the Lok Sabha and will now be taken up in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor — the centre’s representative in Delhi — compared to the city’s elected government, and is seen to be a huge setback for the Arvind Kejriwal government, which has had a running feud with the Lieutenant Governor since 2013, when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) first came to power in Delhi.

Mallikarjun Kharge, the Leader of Opposition, said the Bill was aimed at snatching the powers of the elected government.

“This is a very dangerous Bill. It will destroy democracy. You want to make the Lieutenant Governor the ‘government’ and the elected dispensation his servant,” Mr Kharge, a senior Congress leader, said in Rajya Sabha.

Chaos erupted as soon as Deputy Chairman Harivansh Narayan Singh asked Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy, to table the Bill. AAP member Sanjay Singh protested against allowing the motion, saying his notice has been pending in the House.

The Deputy Chairman assured the AAP member that his notice would be considered after the motion on the Bill was moved, but Sanjay Singh called it “unconstitutional”.

The new Bill makes it clear that the term “government” in any law made by the Legislative Assembly will mean the Lieutenant Governor and his opinion has to be taken before the Delhi government takes any action.

Arvind Kejriwal yesterday called the passing of the Bill in the Lok Sabha an “insult” to the people of Delhi.

“The Bill effectively takes away powers from those who were voted by people and gives powers to run Delhi to those who were defeated. BJP has cheated the people,” tweeted the Chief Minister.

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