President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday cleared the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill 2021 granting more powers to the Lieutenant Governor in Delhi.

The central government announced the assent of the President to the bill through a gazette notification.

The new law seeks to specify that any decision of the Delhi Cabinet or government would need the Lieutenant Governor’s “opinion” before implementation, and that the expression, “Government”, referred to in any law to be made by the Assembly will mean the LG.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021 was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday amidst strong opposition from the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) which termed the law as “unconstitutional”.

In the Upper House, deputy chairman Harivansh Narayan Sigh declared the bill passed in a voice vote after a walkout by the opposition.

Opposition parties, including the Congress, Biju Janata Dal, YSR Congress and Samajwadi Party opposed the bill and walked out in protest, say media reports.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has called the new law “unconstitutional and undemocratic”.

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the bill would render the elected CM “meaningless” and have dangerous consequences for the country’s federal structure.

According to objects and reasons of the bill, it is aimed at ending the lack of clarity on what proposal or matters are required to be submitted to the Lieutenant Governor before issuing orders.

Union minister of state for home G Kishan Reddy introduced the bill.

A report quoted sources in the government as saying that the bill is a bid to clarify “ambiguities” following two judgments by the Supreme Court.

Union minister Reddy said there was no political angle and the amendments are on “technical” grounds.

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