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Business News/ Politics / News/  ‘Control Freak Sarkar..’: What Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi said during Delhi Services Bill discussion
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‘Control Freak Sarkar..’: What Congress' Abhishek Manu Singhvi said during Delhi Services Bill discussion

Abhishek Manu Singhvi said during Delhi services Bill discussion

Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament (PTI)Premium
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the Monsoon session of Parliament (PTI)

Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023 for consideration after the Upper House, which was adjourned earlier in the pre-lunch session, reassembled at 2 pm.

In the discussion, Congress member Abhishek Manu Singhvi opposed the legislation saying it is a "retrogressive bill" that is "completely unconstitutional". He also said it is a "frontal assault on the people of Delhi and violates federalism".

Congress leader and senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi lashed out at the central government while opposing the bill.

Talking about the bill, he described Home Minister Amit Shah as the super boss and said that all the final decisions have to be taken by him.

Singhvi said that after 1992 why no other government has brought such a bill. The BJP also remained at the center and no one overruled the decision of the constitutional bench in this way, including the Congress.

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Why didn't any government make two bureaucrats more powerful than the Chief Minister. Why didn't any government make LG the super CM.

This government and this bill have done all this which has never been done before.Because this is their nature.

Unable to digest the electoral defeat, they are trying to control the elected government by any means. This bill is unconstitutional. This is going to suppress the voice of the people of Delhi. It violates assembly based democracy.

Singhvi said that this bill creates Civil Services Authority. It gives authority to every officer. LG will do this work and will become secretary in someone else's government.

All the vigilance authorities will come to this authority for suggestion. Its purpose is to create an atmosphere of fear.There are three people in this authority.

The National Capital Civil Services Authority will consists of the chief minister, chief secretary and the principal home secretary of Delhi.

He said that no government since 1992, when Delhi's special constitutional status was created, tried to overrule two judgments of the Supreme Court constitution bench on the status of National Capital Territory.

"This government and this bill have done it all, something not done earlier," he said, adding such a step has now been taken because of the "control freak" nature of the government whose "visiting card appears to be vendetta, whose identity badge is of a graceless and fuming electoral loser...."

He said the approach of the government is "to control by hook or crook, usually more by crook and less by hook".

Singhvi criticised the provisions of the bill which he said seeks the "creation of an authority where the chief minister is in a minority, to empower two bureaucrats to overrule an elected chief minister and make the LG, a constitutional figurehead except in three areas, into a 'Super CM' and give powers to the LG to appoint heads of large number of regulatory agencies".

Stating that this is not about any particular government in the NCT, he said, "It is the deliberate regression from a people's government guaranteed to the people of Delhi 30 years ago. And hence it is a decimation of the most fundamental constitutional values...."

Asking all parties to collectively rise to oppose the bill, he said, "Someday this anti-federal knock will come at your door."

This is a matter to ponder for those who are supporting this bill, he said, adding "what is happening with the Delhi government today could happen to you soon".

Singhvi made an apparent reference to the Nazi rule and warned those who are supporting or have announced support to the bill by quoting Martin Niemöller, "First they came for the socialists and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I am not a Jew. Then they came for me and for you, and there was not one left to speak for us (sic)."

Martin Niemöller was a prominent German theologian and Lutheran pastor, who initially was a Nazi supporter but later turned an outspoken critic of Adolf Hitler. He is remembered for his postwar statement: "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out...."

*With inputs from agencies

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Published: 07 Aug 2023, 05:58 PM IST
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