The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD)(Amendment) Bill, 2021, was passed, and it brought a complete change in which Delhi was to be administered.
It enhanced the power of the Governor by declaring him “Government of Delhi”. Lieutenant Governor of National Capital Territory is not elected but purely nominated on political grounds. Opinion of LG was made supreme, and he has to be considered in all matters from making rules for its committees on day-to-day administration or in the administrative decisions.
The Act grants the LG to exercise his power ‘entrusted to him under proviso to clause (4) of Article 239AA’ in selected cases. Article 239AA of the Constitution of India deals with the special provisions for the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
In its July 2018 judgement, the Supreme Court had ruled that while the Lieutenant Governor must be informed about Delhi cabinet decisions, his concurrence was not needed except with police, public order and land.
The Home Minister claimed that this 2021 judgement was to give effect to interpreting the Supreme Court’s 2018 judgement and seeks to address the ambiguities in the legislature.
This bill invited a lot of contestation, especially from Delhi’s Chief Minister, AAP leader- Arvind Kejriwal. AAP has declared the bill to be ‘unconstitutional’ and Against the Supreme Court’s order.The LG according to the changes made is the government, and the elected.
Government of Delhi despite a massive popular mandate that saw them winning 62 of Delhi’s 70 assembly seats will now be forced to play second fiddle. People’s choice to have an elected government in Delhi is tokenistic because actual control for bills to become act for bringing policy changes are vested with LG.
This Bill also changes the interests of voters. Lieutenant Governor is a nominal head so giving him upper powers would go against the voice of the people. If the elected government cannot use its powers independently, then the voters will become passive citizens.
There’s a lot of contention between the AAP government and the Governor. To make things run smoothly, a lot of cooperation will be needed.