New Delhi: A huge setback for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal as President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday (March 28, 2021) gave assent to the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021.
The Bill says ‘government’ in Delhi means ‘Lieutenant Governor’ and enhances the powers of the Delhi L-G. The Houses of the Parliament, notably, had passed the bill last week. It was cleared in Lok Sabha on March 22 and Rajya Sabha on March 24.
The AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has been against the Bill and called it the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) assault on democracy and federalism. Delhi CM took to his official Twitter account and while replying to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (who also opposed the Bill) said, “Thank you Pinarayi Vijayan Ji for supporting the people of Delhi against BJP’s assault on democracy and federalism.”
Vijayan had expressed, “Govt of NCT of Delhi (And) Bill is an affront to our federal principles and rights of States. Restriction of the constitutional authority of democratically elected State Govts and violation of Supreme Court’s verdicts should be resisted. BJP has colonial a mindset.”
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 28, 2021
However, the Centre, on the other hand, has maintained that the Bill is in line with the Supreme Court’s July 2018 ruling on the ambit of powers of the L-G and the Delhi government after a series of run-ins between the two.
Earlier in July 2018, the Supreme Court had ruled that the Lieutenant Governor cannot interfere in every decision of the Delhi government and that he must act on aid and advice of the council of ministers.
(With inputs from agencies)