New Delhi, Aug 7: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha on Monday opposed the Delhi Services Bill in Parliament saying that it is a political fraud and a constitutional sin.
He dubbed the Bill as the most undemocratic and illegal presented in the House and urged the saffron party to fulfill the wishes of veteran party leader Vajpayee and Advani.
The Delhi Services Bill or the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill was moved in the Rajya Sabha on Monday afternoon by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Speaking in the Rajya Sabha, Chadha referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling dated May 11 and said that a top court’s Constitution Bench unanimously reaffirmed that civil servants in the Government of NCT of Delhi are accountable to the elected Council of Ministers led by the Chief Minister.
He said that this accountability, he highlighted, was essential for a democratic and accountable form of government.
“The newly introduced Ordinance undermines this accountability structure by transferring control from the elected Government of Delhi to the unelected Lt Governor,” Chadda said.
He accused the Ordinance of aiming to reduce the Delhi government to its elected aspect -- possessing the people’s mandate but lacking the necessary governing mechanism to fulfill that mandate.
The AAP leader also outlined five key points that render the Bill unconstitutional.
He asserted that the Bill represents an abuse of ordinance-making powers, a direct challenge to the Supreme Court’s authority, an erosion of federalism, and the dismantling of the triple chain of accountability.
He further said that the Bill strips an elected government of its authority, placing it in the hands of bureaucrats under the Lt Governor.
“The Bill symbolizes the dominance of unelected officials over the elected ones,” he said.
Chadha underlined the significance of the statehood demand in elevating the BJP’s political profile and acknowledged the efforts of veteran leaders in this pursuit.
He revealed that the former Deputy Prime Minister, L.K Advani, had even introduced a State of Delhi Bill in 2003. Displaying manifestos and copies of the Bill, Chadha highlighted BJP’s commitment to Delhi’s statehood from 1977 to 2015.
The AAP leader also accused the BJP of adopting a ‘Nehruvian’ stance when it suits their agenda and urged the BJP to embrace a ‘Vajpayeewadi’ or ‘Advaniwadi’ approach for Delhi, while referring to the former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and former deputy prime minister L.K Advani.
“I want to tell Amit Shah ji, don’t be Nehruwadi, but be Advaniwadi. In 25 years, the BJP has lost six state elections in Delhi, including the ones in 2015 and 2020. They know they cannot win any elections in the 25 next years. I appeal to the BJP to fulfil LK Advani's wishes,” Chadda said.
“What was the crisis that you had to go against the Supreme Court order? This is an insult to the Supreme Court. The BJP gave a message that it doesn’t abide by the Supreme Court. They have challenged the Supreme Court.”
He also said that the concept of federalism is applicable to Delhi.
“Without Constitutional amendment, you are trying to change the Constitution. The Bill violates the principle of collective responsibility,” Chadha said.
“The Bill demolishes the triple chain of accountability. The Bill means officers won’t listen to the Chief Minister or the Deputy Chief Minister. They’ll go to the Lieutenant Governor,” Chadha argued in the Rajya Sabha.
Slamming the BJP, for ridiculing the AAP and he said that, “They call AAP a small ‘supari-jaisi’ party. This is a party that has defeated BJP three times in Delhi.”
The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Thursday amid strong opposition by the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) party leaders. The Bill was passed through voice vote in the Lower House amid walkout by the opposition MPs. (IANS)