Rajya Sabha passes bill which gives more power to Lieutenant Governor in Delhi

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Rajya Sabha today passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 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, the Congress too walked out.

Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill on 22 March.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted after the passage of the bill,”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.”

Earlier, Rajya Sabha proceedings witnessed two brief, back-to-back adjournments as opposition members trooped in the well of the House raising slogans to protest against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Soon after the House returned the Finance Bill, 2021, Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge opposed the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill, saying the proposed legislation was unconstitutional and demanded that it be referred to a select committee for scrutiny.

Opposing the bill, AAP MP Sanjay Singh said the BJP government at the Centre has brought the bill as the party had lost the Delhi assembly elections twice. He said that by opposing the bill he was seeking “justice” for the two crore people of Delhi.

Later, opposition members trooped into the well and started raising slogans against the government.

As the protesting members reached the well and House marshals arrived, Kharge warned that what happened in the Bihar assembly on Tuesday should not be repeated.

Kharge was referring to the chaos that erupted in the Bihar assembly on Tuesday when police was called inside to assist the marshals in evicting unruly opposition members protesting against the Bihar Special Armed Police Bill, 2021.

Union Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy said the amendments to the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act were in no way undemocratic.

The Chair called Abhishek Manu Singhvi of the Congress to speak on the bill, but he demanded that the House be first brought in order.

As the uproar and slogan-shouting continued, the House was adjourned twice for 10 minutes each.

The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday, also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the lieutenant governor (L-G) before any executive action.

The bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday, seeks to make it clear that the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor”.

The bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action.

The AAP is in power in Delhi.

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