Delhi Services Bill

131 In Favour: RS Clears Delhi Services Bill With Help From BJD, YSRCP

Delhi Services Bill

The Parliament on Monday passed the prickly Delhi Services Bill, whicn seeks to give the Lieutenant Governor control over bureaucrats in the Aam Aadmi Party government.

The Bill to replace the Ordinance brought earlier by the Centre will now be sent to President Murmu to be signed into law.

After a debate spanning eight hours, the Bill cleared its last legialative test in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The draft legislation on the control of services in the national capital was passed by a comfortable majority after being taken up for consideration by the Upper House.

The Parliament on Monday passed the Bill that empowers the Lieutenant Governor to control Group A services in Delhi, including on matters relating to appointments, transfers and postings. The Bill was passed after a division in which 131 MPs voted in favour of the legislation and 102 against it.

Amid a discussion on the Delhi Services Bill in the Rajya Sabha ahead of its passage, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday lashed out at the Congress, reminding them that the government was not making amendments to the Constitution to “impose (another) Emergency” in the country.

“We are making amendments to the Constitution but they are not for imposing another Emergency. The Congress has no right to speak on democracy,” Amit Shah said during his reply amid the debate on NCTD (Amendment) Bill in the Upper House on Monday.

Putting across his arguments in favour of the passage of the Delhi Services Bill, the Union Home Minister said he was ready for a discussion on the Manipur situation, adding that the Centre had nothing to hide.

Speaking on the draft Bill, Shah said the Constitution empowers the Parliament to enact laws for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

Further, during the debate on the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, in his maiden parliamentary debate, said the legislature is “perfectly, legitimately valid” and that if any member disagrees, his conscience must be left free.

Parties in the I.N.D.I.A bloc, however opposed the Bill.

The Opposition, which had rallied behind AAP in its fight against the Centre, was pushed back by the joint efforts of the Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal, Andhra Pradesh’s ruling YSR Congress and the opposition TDP, which declared support for the government last week.

Amid continued sloganeering and repeated adjournments in both Houses, on Monday, the Rajya Sabha chairman lashed out at the TMC MP, accusing him of upsetting the decorum of the House during a discussion on the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023.

In his first reaction after the Bill passage, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal launched a scathing attack on the BJP, saying that the legislation is an attempt “to rule Delhi from the back door.”

Kejriwal said, “Amit Shah-Ji in Parliament said they (Centre) have the power to pass laws (pertaining to Delhi). You have been given the power to work for the people, not take away their rights.”

Speaking in Rajya Sabha over the Delhi Services Bill, Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram on Monday said, “While we talk about the breakdown of the Constitution, today we are breaking the constitutional machinery.”

In an intriguing turn of events amid voting for the Delhi Services Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, five MPs, including those of the BJP, claimed that their names were added to a proposed Select Committee for the Delhi Services Bill without their consent.

The House took up debate on the Bill earlier on Monday after it was moved for consideration and passage by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Bill empowers the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to control Group A services in Delhi, including on matters relating to appointments, transfers and postings.

The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week. (ANI)

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