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September 24, 2023


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AAP calls Delhi ordinance ‘illegal’, ‘unconstitutional’, ‘black law’; issues whip to Rajya Sabha members

3 min read

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) issued a three-line whip to its Rajya Sabha members, asking them to be present in the House from July 31 to August 4. This comes as the contentious National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, which aims to replace the ordinance giving the Union government control over Delhi’s bureaucracy, is scheduled for discussion and passage.

The government is confident of having the necessary numbers in both Houses, with no bill having been stalled in the Rajya Sabha during its second term. The ruling alliance may need support from either the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) or the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to pass the bill in the Upper House. YSRCP leaders have already expressed their intent to back the bill, reported Hindustan Times.

Sushil Kumar Gupta, the chief whip of AAP in Rajya Sabha, requested all members of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Rajya Sabha to remain present in the house from 11 am onwards until the adjournment of the house from July 31 to August 4, without fail, and support the party’s stand.

Also read: Parliament Monsoon Session: Tussle over Delhi Services Bill likely this week

Bill criticized as “Illegal” and “Unconstitutional”

AAP has vehemently opposed the ordinance, denouncing it as “illegal,” “unconstitutional,” and a “black law.” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been actively seeking support from across the country against the ordinance, and AAP’s entry into the National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) is contingent on the Congress taking a firm stand against it, reported Hindustan Times.

On Monday, AAP leader Raghav Chadha stated that the bill was not only undemocratic and contrary to the topmost court of the country but also opposed to the interests of the 20 million people of Delhi.

Also read: Delhi ordinance row: Controversial Bill undergoes amendment; check what changes

Delhi Bill review and changes

The bill, which is expected to be introduced in Lok Sabha, has undergone changes from the original ordinance. A contentious provision aimed at undermining the Supreme Court’s May 11 judgment, which granted control of Delhi’s administration to the elected government except in specific areas, has been removed. 

The bill proposes changes in the appointment of tribunal heads, giving certain powers to the Lieutenant Governor, as opposed to the President of India as suggested in the ordinance.

Supreme Court referral and legislative agenda

The Supreme Court referred the Delhi government’s challenge against the ordinance to a Constitution bench of five judges on July 20. However, the court’s examination of the ordinance’s legality does not impact the bill’s introduction or passage.  

The legislative agenda for Monday does not mention the bill, the Union government can bring it in at any point without prior information, even through a supplementary agenda.

Opposition preparedness and required support

Opposition leaders anticipate the government’s move and are due to discuss the bill with INDIA allies, given the ongoing tussle between the government and the INDIA grouping over the situation in Manipur. 

Union home minister Amit Shah has agreed to address the matter of Manipur violence in the Parliament .However, the Opposition demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi make a statement. 

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Updated: 31 Jul 2023, 02:45 PM IST

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