President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday approved the Delhi National Capital Territory Governance Amendment Bill 2021 (GNCT Bill). After getting the approval of the President, it has become law now. However, the Delhi government has been consistently describing this law as giving more power to the lieutenant governor than the government. This bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha on March 24, before that in the Lok Sabha on March 22.
According to this, in view of the legislation passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, ‘Government’ will mean the ‘Lieutenant Governor’ of the National Capital Territory of Delhi and the city government will have to seek the advice of the Lieutenant Governor before taking any executive action. According to the objectives and reasons of this bill, in the context of the legislation passed in the Delhi Legislative Assembly, ‘Government’ will mean the Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. In this, the condition of Delhi will be in the Union Territory, so that the ambiguities in the election of legislative provisions can be noticed. In this regard, a sub-section will be added to section 21.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has shown displeasure over this bill. He called this decision an insult to the people of Delhi. When the bill is passed, many opposition parties, including Congress, attacked the Modi government fiercely.
At the same time, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has tweeted that “Today is a dark day for democracy.” The rights of the government elected by the people of Delhi were stripped and handed over to LG. Ironically, Parliament was used to assassinate democracy, which is called the temple of our democracy. The people of Delhi will fight against this dictatorship.
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill. He said that this is the “most unconstitutional bill”. He said that “Delhi BJP should also be involved in opposing it.” Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge once again targeted the Modi government, saying that the BJP wants to run the government in Delhi through the Lieutenant Governor. Then what is the need of an elected government.
At the same time, Union Minister G Kishan Reddy said that the purpose of this amendment is to remove the ambiguity in the original bill, so that the law cannot be challenged in various courts. He had also cited a 2018 order of the Supreme Court which said that the Lt. Governor would have to inform all the decisions, proposals and agenda.
If there is a difference of opinion on a matter between the Lieutenant Governor and the Council of Ministers, then the Lieutenant Governor can refer the matter to the President. Reddy had said that this bill has not been brought from any political point of view and it has been brought completely on technical grounds.