Throwing a challenge to the Centre, the AAP government today moved a resolution at a special session of the assembly questioning the constitutional validity of its notification giving absolute powers to the Lt Governor on a number of crucial areas of administration.
Moving the resolution, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia called the notification an “insult” to the “most popular mandate” of the people of Delhi while an AAP MLA sought legislative provisions to impeach the Lt Governor if the House loses trust in him.
Strongly condemning the notification, Sisodia termed it as a “big encroachment” upon powers of the Delhi Assembly and said its issuance was like a “crime” committed by the Home Ministry which the AAP government will resist tooth and nail.
“This notification is a big encroachment upon the powers of Delhi Assembly. It was issued citing that as Delhi doesn’t have state service commission, so Delhi Assembly does not have control over services. Tomorrow the central government can say that you don’t have control over the sources of water so you can’t supply water to the city,” he said.
He accused the Centre of toying with the Constitution while noting that merely an executive order cannot bring about such amendments. “The issuance of the notification is an insult to the most popular mandate ever.”
In the notification, the Centre gave absolute powers to the LG in appointment of bureaucrats while also clarifying that he need not “consult” the chief minister on subjects like police and public order.
The ACB of the Delhi government has also been barred from registering any case against officers and political functionaries of the central government.
However, the Delhi High Court yesterday ruled that the ACB has the authority to probe central government officials, including Delhi Police personnel.
Participating in the debate, AAP MLAs, one after the other, lambasted Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and the Centre while some of them demanded full-statehood to Delhi.
Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri, who is the grandson of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, demanded constitutional amendment to empower state assemblies to impeach Governors and Lt Governors. Shastri attacked Jung for “creating hurdles” for the elected government and said provisions of impeachment of LG and Governors would address such issues.
The first day’s proceedings at the two-day session was not without drama as a BJP MLA was marshalled out of the house after he made critical remarks against Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.
The three BJP MLAs opposed adverse remarks made by AAP MLAs against the Centre.