Hours after the passage of the GNCTD amendment bill in the Rajya Sabha, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said it was a "sad day" for democracy. He also stressed that his struggle to restore power back to the people would continue.
On Monday, the Parliament passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 that gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor.
"RS passes GNCTD amendment bill. Sad day for Indian democracy. Will continue our struggle to restore power back to people. Whatever be the obstacles, we will continue doing good work. Work will neither stop nor slow down," he tweeted.
The Aam Aadmi Party said it was planning to approach the Supreme Court against the legislation, alleging it was an “unconstitutional” attempt to make the Delhi government “administratively impotent” by a political party that has been made “electorally impotent” by the people of the national capital.
Calling it a ‘dark day’ for democracy, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia tweeted, "Today is a dark day for democracy. The rights of the government elected by the people of Delhi have been taken away and handed over to LG. Look at the irony, the Parliament was used to assassinate democracy which is called the temple of our democracy. People of Delhi will fight against this dictatorship #BJPFearsKejriwal."
The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the bill giving primacy to Delhi's Lieutenant Governor (L-G) over the elected government after high drama in the House that saw uproar by the opposition and a walkout by MPs of parties like the BJD, SP, Congress and the YSR-Congress.
The legislation was passed in Rajya Sabha by a voice vote on Wednesday. However, a division was sought by the opposition when the government moved the bill for consideration. During voting, 83 members were in favour while 45 opposed the bill. Just before the passage of the bill, Congress too walked out.
Earlier, Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar by opposition members who termed the bill "unconstitutional" and demanded that it be sent to a Select Committee for scrutiny. The upper house also witnessed two brief adjournments. The members of the BJD, SP and the YSR-Congress also walked out of the House.
According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the original bill was enacted to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the legislative assembly and a Council of Ministers for Delhi and for matters connected therewith.
It said that to give effect to the interpretation made by the Supreme Court which had ruled that the city government need not obtain the Lieutenant Governor's "concurrence" of every issue of day-to-day governance, the bill has been brought.
"The said bill will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the L-G, in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Supreme Court," the statement of objects said.
With PTI inputs