Amid the ongoing tussle between the Delhi government and the Centre, the Lok Sabha on Monday, March 22, passed the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to give more powers to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and allegedly nullify the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
The Bill gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor -- the Centre's representative in Delhi -- compared to the elected government, reported NDTV.
Referring to this development as an 'insult' to the people of Delhi, CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, "Passage of GNCTD amendment Bill in Lok Sabha today is 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."
During the parliamentary session, the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress party strongly opposed the bill and said that the legislation was totally unconstitutional.
According to this new bill, the term 'government' in the context of any law made by the Legislative Assembly will mean the Lieutenant Governor. This bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi Government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action.
Other than the AAP and Congress; BSP, NCP and Shiv Sena also opposed this bill during the parliamentary debate and alleged that the BJP is trying to grab more power and nullify people's mandate.
Replying to this allegation, BJP's Manoj Tiwari said, "The Bill only aims to remove any confusion. There is no question of grabbing power through the backdoor. Kejriwal's government is trying to rule Delhi like a state instead of Union Territory."
Earlier in 2018, hearing on a case of dispute between Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the Lieutenant Governor, the Supreme Court had held that while the Lieutenant Governor must be informed about Delhi cabinet decisions, his concurrence was not needed except in the case of police, public order and land.
In its ruling, the Apex court said, "Delhi's Lieutenant Governor's status is not that of a governor of a state, rather he remains an administrator, in a limited sense, working with the designation of Lieutenant Governor. The L-G is bound by the advice of the council of the ministers."
"L-G had to either act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers or implement the decision taken by the President on a reference being made by him," said the Supreme Court in its judgement.