New Delhi: Lok Sabha today passed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2023. The Bill seeks to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act 1991. It empowers the Central Government to make rules in connection with the affairs of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi including the functions, terms, and other conditions of service of officers and employees. It also has a provision in the constitution of the National Capital Civil Service Authority. The authority consists of the Delhi Chief Minister, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, and the Principal Home Secretary of Delhi. The Authority will make recommendations to Delhi Lieutenant Governor regarding transfers and postings of officials and disciplinary matters. The Centre had brought an Ordinance in this regard in May this year.
Replying to the discussion on the Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah expressed happiness that Opposition members participated in the debate in the House today after a long time. He pointed out that nine Bills have been passed in the current session so far, and alleged that the Opposition parties only took part in today’s debate to protect their newly formed alliance. He accused them of not caring about the matters that concern people, but only caring about saving the alliance. He said that even after this Opposition alliance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will come to power again. He stressed that the Bill is in accordance with the Constitutional provisions. He said, the Supreme Court in its judgment had also said that the Central Government can make laws related to Delhi. He specifically noted that the Constitution allows Parliament to make laws for the national Capital. He highlighted that Congress and BJP had also been in power in Delhi in the past but there was no intention to grab power. He added that there were no fights because whichever government was formed, their aim was to serve the people.
Targeting the Aam Aadmi Party without naming it, he said that a Party came to power in 2015 in Delhi whose only motive is to fight and not about serving the people of Delhi. Mr. Shah alleged that the issue is not about getting the right to do transfer postings but getting control of the vigilance department to hide corruption in the National Capital.
The Home Minister also reiterated that the Government is ready for a lengthy discussion on Manipur.
Earlier, initiating the discussion, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of Congress termed the Bill as against the federal structure of the country. He also questioned the government for bringing an Ordinance related to services saying what was the hurry to bring it. He also questioned the motive for introducing the Bill alleging that similar attempts will be made to undermine the authority of other states also. Kalyan Banerjee of TMC alleged that this legislation is an attack on the federal structure. He stressed that the States are not subservient to the Union. He said, the government should heed the mandate of the people as residents of Delhi must have a voice as to how they are governed. Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lallan Singh of JD(U) opposed the legislation and accused the Centre of trying to rule Delhi indirectly.
Ramesh Bidhuri of BJP said that several promises have been made by the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi which are still unfulfilled. He alleged that AAP is involved in corrupt practices in Delhi. P. V. Midhun Reddy of YSRCP spoke in support of the Bill. He termed it as unique saying the Bill aims to restore certain power to LG.
BJD’s Pinaki Mishra supported the Bill saying Parliament has plenary jurisdiction to enact laws regarding Delhi. Supriya Sule of NCP opposed the Bill terming it undemocratic and unconstitutional. Shashi Tharoor of Congress, Meenakshi Lekhi of BJP, Harsimrat Kaur Badal of SAD, NK Premachandran of RSP were among those who participated in the debate.