New Delhi: Rajya Sabha will take up on Wednesday a bill which seeks to make it clear that the “government” in Delhi means the “Lieutenant Governor”, as the House witnessed repeated brief adjournments during the day following uproar by opposition parties which termed the proposed legislation “unconstitutional”. The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday, also makes it mandatory for the Delhi government to take the opinion of the lieutenant governor (L-G) before any executive action.

“We have discussed with leaders of all parties and arrived at a consensus that the House will meet tomorrow at 10 am … First we will discuss the Finance Bill, NCT and other Bills,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said. Joshi also informed that there would be no Zero Hour, Question Hour and Lunch Hour.

Earlier in the day, Rajya Sabha witnessed repeated adjournments as opposition Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (APP) members protested against the bill. The uproar in the Upper House of Parliament started when Deputy Chairman Harivansh asked Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy to move a motion for the consideration of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

AAP member Sanjay Singh protested against allowing the motion, saying his notice has been pending in the House. The deputy chairman assured the AAP member that his notice would be considered after the motion is moved, but Singh called it “unconstitutional”.

Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge said that the bill is dangerous and it will grab the rights of the elected government of Delhi and destroy democracy. He alleged that the government wants the L-G as government and the elected dispensation as his “servant”.

Harivansh adjourned the House till 5.24 pm. As the House reassembled, the protest by opposition members continued, prompting the chair to adjourn the House for a second time till 5.40 pm. It was adjourned again till 5:50 pm and then till 6:10 pm. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan had urged the Chair to extend proceedings till 6.30 pm to discuss the bill.

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