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Delhi service bill: Power tussle between the Central and State Government

PM Narendra Modi & Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

The controversial Delhi service bill is likely to be introduced in Lok Sabha this week before being taken to Rajya Sabha, where the opposition is in a better position to oppose the law. In May 2023, the President promulgated the ordinance on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet when the parliament was not in session. It is important for the parliament to adopt a law to replace the ordinance within six weeks of the start of the next session. All the transfers and postings of top officials of Delhi government were under the control of the Lieutenant Governor. On 11 May, the Supreme Court passed the order where they empowered the State Government to control Group A services. On 19 May, the President passed an ordinance authorising the Lieutenant Governor to make appointments of the Senior Executive Officials in Delhi. 


Monsoon session is already in controversy due to the debate over Manipur violence and 'No confidence' motion. Last week Congress MP Gaurav Gagoi introduced the ‘No confidence’ motion in the lower house which was accepted by the speaker last Wednesday.


AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi moved a notice on Monday in the Parliament saying that this bill violates the essence of federalism, which is the part of the basic structure of the Constitution. The Aam Aadmi Party issued a whip to all its Upper House members to be present in the Rajya Sabha from 31 July to 4 August. Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadda stated that, “the ordinance is against the constitutional framework which is undemocratic and hurts the sentiments of 2 crore citizens of Delhi.” 


Senior BJP leader and the Minister of Parliamentary affairs, Coal and Mines of India Prahlad Joshi informed the media, “that Delhi Services bill is not mentioned in the list of businesses today. When we will introduce the bill we will inform you.” Union Law Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal also said, “We have been asking about their (opposition) demands on discussion from the first day of sessions. They want to discuss Manipur. We are ready, but they changed their issue to No confidence motion and want the Prime Minister to speak on the issue. We are ready for every discussion on every issue whenever the speaker decides.”


The BJP led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) have a clear majority in the lok sabha, that’s why they will introduce the bill in the lower house first. In Rajya Sabha they need the support of friendly parties like YSR Congress and BJD (Biju Janata Dal). YSR chief and Andhra’s CM  Jagan Mohan Reddy has already announced his support in the favour of BJP, both YSR and BJD have 9 MPs in Rajya Sabha that’s why their support is very critical for NDA. BJP just needs the support of 12 MPs to pass the resolution. 

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