GNCTD bill passed in Rajya Sabha: MPs walkout
On 24th March, Rajya Sabha passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 amid resistance by the opposition leaders. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha just a few days prior on 22nd March.
The Bill was passed after 83 voted in favor and 45 against the motion. Right after the voting through division slips multiple MPs opposing the Bill, including the Congress, YSRCP, BJD, SP leaders staged a walkout from the house.
According to the Bill, the Delhi government must obtain the opinion of the Centre-appointed Lieutenant Governor before implementing any policy. This will significantly expand the powers of the center in Delhi while lowering the decision-making powers of the elected party.
The bill also proposes that the term ‘government’ when used for any law would mean the Lieutenant Governor, not the elected leaders. This is significantly a setback for the elected AAP party.
After the bill was passed, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that it was a “sad day for democracy”. He tweeted, “RS [Rajya Sabha] passes GNCTD [Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi] amendment Bill. Sad day for Indian democracy. We 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.”
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia shares the same sentiment, calling it a “dark day” for democracy. He tweeted, “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.”
After these tweets by major political leaders, netizens started tweeting using the hashtags, #BlackDayForDemocracy, #BJPFearsKejriwal, and #NoVoteToBJP.
In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party has been elected by a majority vote for 2 terms now, in 2015 and 2020. And they have been constantly in conflict with the Center, as the Center controls the land, public order, and the police. This bill will make sure that the Center has more control.
Samajwadi Party MP Vishambhar Prasad Nishad said, “We want this Bill to be sent to the Select Committee. This is absolutely anti-democracy, anti-Constitution. We oppose this Bill and stage walkout.”
Biju Janata Dal MP Prasanna Acharya said, “My party has decided not to become a party to the passing of this Bill. It undermines the authority and power of an elected government of an elected Assembly. Without lowering the dignity of the House, we are peacefully staging a walkout.”
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