New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a major setback for the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in the national capital, the Lok Sabha on Monday passed the contentious Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill.

The bill, which aims to promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, will restrict the powers of the elected government in Delhi and enhance powers of the Lieutenant Governor.

The bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha last week, also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the Lieutenant Governor before any executive action.

Looking at this, the AAP has strongly opposed the bill and has urged the Centre to reconsider it. On Wednesday, party supremo Arvind Kejriwal had even said that the AAP dispensation is ready to even fall at the Modi government's feet for its withdrawal.

"The Centre has brought in a law that says 'Delhi government means Lieutenant Governor'. If this happens, where will the CM go? Do elections, votes do not mean anything? It is a fraud with the people," Kejriwal had said on Wednesday.

"Earlier all files would go to L-G, but in 2018, the Supreme Court ordered that no file would go to the LG as there is an elected government in Delhi that has the powers. Now, the Centre has specified in the amended law to send all files to the L-G. They (BJP) do not believe in the Supreme Court or the Constitution," he had said.

The Centre, however, had said that the bill will end ambiguity in running the affairs of Delhi and appealed to everyone not to term it a "political move" since it will be beneficial to the people of the city.

"Please do not say that it is a political bill. It is being brought to end ambiguity in certain issues as Delhi is a Union Territory. It will end certain confusion or technicality and enhance the efficiency of the administration," said Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy.

According to the statement of objects and reasons of the bill, the original bill was enacted to supplement the provisions of the Constitution relating to the legislative assembly and a Council of Ministers for Delhi and for matters connected therewith.

"The section 44 of the Act deals with conduct of business and there is no structural mechanism provided in the Act for effective time bound implementation of said section. Further, there is no clarity as to what proposal or matters are required to be submitted to the L-G before issuing order thereon," it said.

It said that to give effect to the interpretation made by the Supreme Court which had ruled that the city government need not obtain the Lieutenant Governor''s "concurrence" of every issue of day-to-day governance, the bill has been brought.

The central government said it wanted to clarify the expression "Government", which in the context of legislations to be passed by the Delhi assembly, shall mean the “L-G of Delhi”, consistent with the status of Delhi as a Union Territory to address the ambiguities in the interpretation of the legislative provisions.

It further seeks to ensure that the L-G is necessarily granted an opportunity to exercise the power entrusted to him under proviso to clause (4) of article 239AA of the Constitution, in select category of cases and also to make rules in matters which incidentally encroach upon matters falling outside the preview of the assembly.

"The said bill will promote harmonious relations between the legislature and the executive, and further define the responsibilities of the elected government and the L-G, in line with the constitutional scheme of governance of the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as interpreted by the Supreme Court," the statement of objects said.

(With inputs from PTI)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma