Murder of democracy, says ex-Pondy CM on Govt of NCT of Delhi

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(Amendment) Bill Puducherry, Mar 24 (PTI) Former Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy on Thursday accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of committing murder of democracy by amending the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act seeking to enhance powers of the Lt Governor of Delhi.

Addressing reporters at the PCC office here, Narayanasamy claimed the Bill amending the Act, which was adopted in both Houses of Parliament, takes the stand that concurrence of the Lt Governor of Delhi should be obtained on decisions of the elected government before implementing decisions.

'The enhancement of the powers of the Lt Governor thus subverts the elected government of Delhi by vesting powers with the Lt Governor,' the senior Congress leader said.

He claimed the amendment is at variance with the Supreme court verdict delivered in a case filed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in 2018 that the elected government of Delhi could take decisions within its jurisdiction and could implement decisions without obtaining the Lt Governor's concurrence.

The former Chief Minister, who had been at loggerheads with the then Lt Governor of Puducherry Kiran Bedi on administrative and fiscal issues, also said 'whenever differences arose between the Lt Governor and elected government, the issue could be referred to President for final say.' The Bill now adopted by both Houses of Parliament 'is a clear case of the NDA committing murder of democracy,' he said.

Narayanasamy claimed such a situation of elected government being shunned and ignored by the Centre would also happen sooner than later in Puducherry which is a Union Territory.

Highlighting their demand for statehood for Puducherry against this backdrop, Narayanasamy wanted the AINRC, which is fighting the April 6 polls here in alliance with the BJP, to explain what its stand was on the issue.

'The NDA is known for depriving the constitutional prerogatives of State governments under the opposition rule and hence the amendment to the Government of NCT of Delhi Act is a clear signal that Puducherry too would be in a soup administratively in the future,' he added.

Member of Parliament V Vaithilingam, who was also present at the press meet, said the Centre had reduced the status of Jammu and Kashmir from being a State to the level of Union Territory. PTI Cor BN BN