Delhi Ordinance Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha with 131 votes in favour and 102 votes against.


The Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, was approved by both houses, granting the central government control over Delhi bureaucrats.

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Delhi Ordinance Bill
Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the Parliament’s Monsoon session in New Delhi on Monday (PTI).

 

Delhi Ordinance Bill: The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed in the Rajya Sabha by voice vote, late on Monday, 7 August. The Bill was presented in the Rajya Sabha by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The Rajya Sabha approved the bill giving the central government power over bureaucrats in the Delhi government with 131 votes in support and 102 votes against.
On 4 August, the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha by a voice vote.
Home Minister Amit Shah defended the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, saying it aims to provide effective and corruption-free government in the national capital.
Previously, the opposition INDIA and the BRS vigorously opposed the proposed legislation, claiming it was unconstitutional, undemocratic, and contrary to the spirit of federalism.
With Naveen Patnaik’s BJD and the YSRCP supporting the bill, the opposition pulled all stops, including bringing former prime minister Manmohan Singh on a wheelchair and an ailing Shibu Soren to the House, to shore up its numbers.
The Delhi Ordinance Bill replaces an existing ordinance that overrides a Supreme Court order giving the Delhi Government control over most services.

What is Delhi Ordinance Bill?

The Delhi Ordinance Bill recommends that activities like suspensions and requests of the national capital’s officials would be under the control of the centre.
The Delhi Ordinance Bill The Delhi Ordinance Bill will also give the Lieutenant Governor sole authority over a number of issues, including those proposed by the National Capital Civil Services Authority and the summoning, prorogation, and dissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
The National Capital Civil Services Authority will consist of the Delhi Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, and the Principal Home Secretary of Delhi.

How Delhi Ordinance Bill will effect CM Kejriwal’s government?

Both houses of parliament have approved the Delhi Ordinance Bill. The bill will now become law, granting the Centre-appointed bureaucrats the authority to overrule the elected chief minister and senior officers in the Delhi government.

Why opposition leaders are against it? 

Reacting to the debate over Delhi Ordinance Bill, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor alleged that “blatant subversion of the constitutional separation of powers” is happening through the bill. He added that the country is now seeing “coercive federalism”.

Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Tharoor argued that the proposed bill is a representation of a “grave chapter in the history of the Indian republic, seeking to ratify an ordinance that in many ways is an assault on our democratic heritage and the spirit of federalism”.

Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture Meenakshi Lekhi, while intervening in the debate, said that the country has a quasi-federal structure and the Centre is at primacy. She stated that the bill is aimed at statutorily balancing the interests of the Union Territory of Delhi and the nation.

“India has a quasi-federal structure, which the Constitution demarcates. India is not federal,” said Lekhi, adding that the country is being “mislead” by many practising lawyers.

Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that the bill is trying to snatch an elected government’s power which is unconstitutional.

“Snatching the powers of the elected government of Delhi is unconstitutional. It is against the Constitution to snatch the powers of an elected government, whichever party is in power,” said Chowdhury, while speaking to media outside Parliament.

Delhi CM Kejriwal, sharply reacting to the debate, tweeted, “BJP always promised to give full statehood to Delhi. In 2014, Modi himself said that on becoming prime minister, he would give full statehood to Delhi. But today these people stabbed the people of Delhi in the back. Don’t believe anything said by Modi ji from now on.”

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