Amid uproar, Delhi Services Bill introduced in Lok Sabha; 'illegal piece of paper’ says Opposition

The controversial bill aims to empower Delhi LG to have the final say in administrative matters

Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai(Photo:Sansad TV)
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai(Photo:Sansad TV)

NH Political Bureau

Amid uproar and protest by the newly formed INDIA alliance, the Centre on Tuesday, July 1, tabled the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in Lok Sabha.

Constituents of the INDIA alliance — AAP, Congress and Revolutionary Socialist Party — all spoke against the Bill in the lower house of the Parliament.

Tabled by the Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai, the Bill seeks to empower the Delhi lieutenant governor to have the final say in recommendations regarding the transfer and posting of Delhi government officials. It will replace an existing ordinance promulgated by the Centre in May this year.

Opposing the Bill, the leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress MP, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: "The bill vindicates the outrageous infringement of the government on the territory of the states. It is designed for digging up a graveyard for cooperating federalism."

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has campaigned against the Bill, and challenged the Centre's ordinance in the Supreme Court, called the Bill the most undemocratic, illegal piece of paper ever tabled in Parliament.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha said the bill is even worse than the previous ordinance and more against "our democracy, the Constitution, and the people of Delhi".

Terming the bill the most undemocratic, Chadha said it replaces democracy in Delhi with "babucracy".

Congress MP, KC Venugopal said that the Bill is anti-federal and undemocratic.

Shashi Tharoor said that "the Bill violates the defining features of federal democracy and division of power and undermines the Delhi legislative and Delhi government."

Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) also opposed the Bill. Demanding division of votes, Owaisi said the House did not have the legislative competence to do so as it was “in violation of Article 123” of the Constitution of India" in Lok Sabha.

Calling the protest "politically motivated" Home Minister Amit Shah said the Constitution empowers Parliament to make laws on the NCT of Delhi.

"All objections to the introduction of the Bill are political," Shah said, requesting the House to grant approval for its introduction.

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