The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators on Friday expressed strong reservations against empowering the office of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor as the boss of Delhi and giving him extraordinary powers through an amendment in the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) Act.
The AAP MLAs also resented the refusal of power to the Delhi Assembly’s committees to inquire into the governance and day to day issues.
During the short duration of the discussion on the second day of the monsoon session of the Delhi Assembly, AAP MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi initiated the discussion on the subject.
The AAP MLAs termed it, “unconstitutional and unwarranted interference in the jurisdiction of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and its committees by the Union Government.”
Saurav Bharadwaj, MLA from Greater Kailash and senior spokesperson of the party said, “The Centre’s deliberate attempts to snatch power of elected Delhi Government indicates the nervousness of the BJP. Through the LG’s office, BJP wants to rule in Delhi indirectly.”
Bharadwaj said the nine-member Delhi Assembly committee is examining several issues using its constitutional power involving officials and elected members and the reports are being sent to the L-G office.
“I would request members of opposition (BJP) to oppose the GNCTD Act to protect the rights of Delhi Assembly and the people of Delhi,” Bharadwaj added.
Another AAP MLA Raghav Chadha continued the discussion on this subject stating that if day-to-day matters of Delhi will not be discussed in the Delhi Assembly then it is against the federal system of the Constitution.
During the discussion, Chadha read out several orders of the Supreme Courts at different times on Delhi’s constitutional power.
“Through GNCTD Act, BJP-led Centre has curtailed Delhi Assembly’s power,” he added.
However, Vijender Gupta, senior BJP MLA, while speaking on the matter said that more than a dozen committees of the Delhi assembly are allowed to function in concurrence with the Lok Sabha.
“It is a wrong interpretation that Delhi assembly’s committees’ powers have been curtailed. Changes have been made only on those subjects which are not under the purview of the Delhi government,” Gupta added.