New Delhi, Jul 30 (PTI) The AAP and the BJP sought to corner each other in the Delhi Assembly on Friday over the recent amendments made by the Centre in the GNCTD Act, with Delhi minister Satyendar Jain asserting that the move is against the "spirit of the Constitution" as it "curtailed" the power of the elected government.
On the last day of the Delhi Assembly's Monsoon Session, a discussion was initiated on the matter of amendments made by the Centre in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act 2021 by AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi who also tore a copy of the amendment bill in the House.
The AAP also sought a repeal of the amendments.
The opposition BJP, however, said it "does not curtail" the powers of the Delhi Assembly.
Replying to a debate, Delhi's Home Minister Satyendar Jain said the amendments to the Act were against the "spirit of the Constitution" and it "curtailed" the power of the elected government and the Assembly.
"This amendment Act is against the Constitution. Through this move they (Central government) want to put a system in place akin to the English Raj where the viceroy used to run the government. The public is watching everything," Jain said.
Jain further said the GNCTD Amendment Act 2021 is also a "contempt" of the Supreme Court order of 2018 where the apex court had maintained that the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had no independent decision-making powers and was bound to follow the "aid and advice" of the council of ministers of the Delhi government.
"The Amendment Act says that the government had to take nod from the LG before taking any executive decision while the Supreme Court in its order in 2018 had clearly said that there was no need to send Cabinet files to the LG. So it is in contempt of the Supreme Court," Jain added.
Senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Rajendra Nagar MLA Raghav Chadha also termed the move "unconstitutional" and said it was a bid to "indirectly capture the government" in Delhi.
"This Amendment Act will make the state government legislatively and administratively impotent. It is an attack on constitutional federalism. We all should oppose it and this Act should be repealed," Chadha said.
The GNCTD Amendment Bill 2021 was passed by the Centre in March this year which makes it clear that the "government" in Delhi means the "Lieutenant Governor".
The Bill makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the lieutenant governor (L-G) before any executive action.
The bill also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the L-G before any executive action.
Senior AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said this amendment to GNCTD Act was a bid to end healthy practices of asking questions from officers as it curtails powers of Assembly committees.
"The JP is a threat to democracy. The way BJP is trying to run Delhi through the LG, it seems they are convinced they will never get the mandate in Delhi. It is an unconstitutional onslaught on Delhiites," Bharadwaj said.
Tripathi said the current central government did not believe in the Constitution framework.
"It is an illegal amendment. The central government brought this GNCTD Amendment Act 2021 to save BJP leaders from their role in Delhi riots as Assembly's Peace & Harmony Committee would have exposed the role of its leaders in the riots,” he said.
AAP MLA Atishi said the GNCTD Amendment Act 2021 was "unconstitutional" and the state government condemns it.
"Such an unconstitutional bill was never placed in Parliament in the history of the country. It should be repealed," she said.
Taking part in the discussion, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Vijender Gupta said the Amendment to NCT Act did not curtail the power of the Delhi Assembly.
"Amendment streamlines the rules of Assembly in accordance with rules of conduct of Lok Sabha. As per the amendment, the Department Related Standing Committees (DRSCs) are not to consider matters of day-to-day administration of the NCT of Delhi and to conduct any inquiry in relation to administrative decisions.
"These DRSCs were used as a political tool by the AAP to interfere in the day to day functioning of the administration," Gupta alleged.
Gupta also sought to know why various Special Inquiry Committees formed by the Delhi government have not submitted even a single report in the assembly in the past five years.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)