'Unconstitutional, anti-democracy': Kejriwal condemns Centre's Bill to define powers of LG, elected Delhi govt

New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday condemned the Centre's "anti-democracy move" as the BJP government was set to introduce a bill to define the powers of Lieutenant Governor.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was approved by the Union Cabinet last month and is slated to be moved by Home Minister Amit Shah to amend the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi has opposed the move. Commenting on the bill, Kejriwal on Monday tweeted, "After being rejected by ppl of Del (8 seats in Assembly, 0 in MCD bypolls), BJP seeks to drastically curtail powers of elected govt thro a Bill in LS today. Bill is contrary to Constitution Bench judgement. We strongly condemn BJP’s unconstitutional n anti-democracy move."

The Bill proposes to clearly spell out the functions of the Council of Ministers and the L-G. The Bill reportedly spells out that the L-G can act in his discretion in any matter related to the All India (Civil) Services and the Anti-Corruption Branch. In the matters of legislation, the elected government needs to send proposals to the L-G at least 14 days in advance to seek his opinion and avoid any delays.

The Bill may revive the years of tussle between the AAP government and Centre-appointed LG in Delhi. Earlier, both the AAP government and the LG had been on loggerhead over administrative issues and the matter had reached a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court. In an order in 2018, the apex court ruled that the lieutenant governor of Delhi is bound by the "aid and advice" of the Delhi government.

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