New Delhi: Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal is now the ‘government’ in the Union Territory as the Centre has notified the amended Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021 on Tuesday.
“Government of NCT of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, notified with effect from April 27; now govt in Delhi means Lt Governor,’’ a notification issued by the Centre said, according to PTI.
This would mean that Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, Anil Baijal – a representative of the Centre – would now have more powers than Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal – the NCT’s elected government.
According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the “government” in Delhi now means the “Lieutenant Governor” and the city government will now have to seek the opinion of the L-G before taking any executive action.”
“In exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 1 of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act 2021 (15 of 2021), the Central Government hereby appoints the 27th April 2021 as the date on which the provisions of the said Act shall come into force,” the notification signed by additional secretary in the MHA, Govind Mohan, said.
President Ram Nath Kovind had last month cleared the controversial law giving more powers to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
The law that is said to undermine the elected Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi and has faced huge criticism by the Opposition, which called it ”anti-democratic and unconstitutional.”
What does the GNCT Act mean?
The amended GNCT Act redefines Delhi Government as the L-G. It says the L-G’s opinion “shall be obtained” on all such matters as may be specified by him before any executive action on decisions of the Council of Ministers.
The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on March 22 and the Rajya Sabha on March 24 amid a huge uproar. In the Rajya Sabha, the Opposition had staged a walkout, describing the Bill as “coercive federalism.”
AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP ND Gupta had earlier said that the party will move the Supreme Court if the Bill is passed.
When the bill was passed by Parliament, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had termed it a “sad day for Indian democracy”.