New Delhi: Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has said that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party will continue to fight against the BJP, after the Rajya Sabha passed the keenly contested National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that gives the Centre control over Delhi’s bureaucrats. Lashing out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AAP leader and Delhi Minister Atishi AAP said, “There are many in the country who talk about the absence of democracy in Pakistan, wondering how Bills are passed by their Parliament without any debate or consent.”
“Prime Minister Modi has made the situation in India worse than in Pakistan. This is very unfortunate. We, along with the people of Delhi, will continue our fight against the BJP,” she added. She claimed that with the passage of the Bill in both Houses of the Parliament, PM Modi has “taken away the rights of the people of Delhi.
“Today with the passage of his draft-legislation by the Parliament, PM Modi has taken away the rights of the people of Delhi. We used to look at Pakistan not too long ago, wondering what kind of country passes Bills without discussions and debates,” Atishi said.
In his first comment after the Bill was passed, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday launched a scathing attack on the BJP, saying that the draft legislation was a “back-entry” entry to rule Delhi.
“These people (BJP) have seen that it is very difficult to defeat AAP in Delhi. In the last four elections — 2013, 2015, 2020 and recent MCD polls — the BJP lost to AAP. The BJP has not formed a government in Delhi for more than 25 years now. The people of Delhi sent them on exile for 25 years. Sensing it was difficult to defeat the BJP, these people are now trying to make a back-door entry to rule Delhi,” Kejriwal said in a video message, soon after the contentious Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha.
The Upper House on Monday passed the Bill that empowers Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to control Group A services in Delhi, including on matters relating to appointments, transfers and postings. The Bill was passed after a division in which 131 MPs voted in favour of the legislation and 102 against it.
The Opposition, which put up a strong fight, was bested by the joint efforts of the Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress and opposition TDP, which declared support for the government last week.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who moved the bill, said the Delhi services bill doesn’t violate the Supreme Court judgment, which maintained that the elected government is the boss in Delhi.
Delhi’s ruling AAP, which would be most affected by the proposed law, has been campaigning against it for weeks, rallying the Opposition. AAP has argued that the proposed law will set a precedent that can be used to strip any Opposition-ruled state of its power of governance, sidelining the elected government.
What’s The Delhi Services Bill?
The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which was passed by the Lok Sabha last week, replaces the Ordinance promulgated by the Centre earlier for handling the transfers and postings of officials in the Delhi government.
The bill now requires the President’s sign-off to com into effect. The proposed law will empower the Central Government to control the functioning of the Delhi government by having the final say in the postings, transfers of bureaucrats and employees.
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