Monsoon Session of the Parliament and the Delhi Services Ordinance
The Monsoon Session of Parliament will commence on 20th July 2023 and end on 11th August 2023 at the new Parliament building. The monsoon session provides a crucial platform for lawmakers to discuss and deliberate on various legislative matters. Among the significant bills listed during this session is the one aimed at replacing the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023.
On 13th July 2023, the union government listed the bill to replace the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 for the monsoon session of the Parliament, which has gained traction and sparked discussions among political parties expressing different opinions on this ordinance.
Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023
The focus of attention for this Monsoon Session is the Bill intended to replace the ordinance that amends the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi Act, 1991. The ordinance seeks to curtail the powers of the Delhi Government over the bureaucracy. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, has been actively campaigning against the Bill and has sought the support of opposition parties in this regard.
Arvind Kejriwal has engaged in meetings with the heads of various opposition parties to garner support for AAP’s campaign against the Bill. While the Congress party has not publicly taken a stand on the bill, Mallikarjun Kharge, the party’s president, expressed assurance of support to Mr. Kejriwal during an opposition strategy meeting in Patna last month. AAP is eager for the Bill to be defeated in the Rajya Sabha, where the opposition holds a stronger numerical position. However, the support of parties like Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and YSR Congress will be crucial for this outcome.
AAP Demands Clarity from Congress on Delhi Services Ordinance
After the union government listed the bill to replace the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, 2023 for the monsoon session, the AAP announced that it will not attend the opposition party meeting in Bengaluru if the Congress does not support AAP over this ordinance. Presently, Congress has not publicly announced its stance on the ordinance. Moreover, the Congress has also informed that it will take a stance in this matter after an internal discussion.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has stated that it will not participate in the second meeting of Opposition parties in Bengaluru unless the Congress clarifies its stance on the ordinance regarding the control of ‘Services’ in Delhi, according to party sources.
During the first meeting of Opposition parties in Patna last month, the Congress had indicated that it would announce its position on the ordinance following internal discussions. However, the party is yet to make its stand clear ahead of the Monsoon Session.
The Patna meeting did not meet the expectations of the AAP, as the Congress did not provide any concrete assurance of opposing the ordinance. The Congress raised concerns about the AAP’s criticism of the party just hours before the meeting.
A senior AAP leader expressed hope that the Congress will soon state its opposition to the ordinance. The decision of whether to attend the meeting in Bengaluru will be determined based on the Congress’s final decision. Moreover, a day before the second opposition meeting in Bengaluru, the Congress party official announced its stance to support AAP on the matter regarding the Delhi Services Ordinance. Thus, AAP attended the second opposition meeting in Bengaluru on 17th July 2023.
Other Bills on the Agenda
In addition to the Delhi Services Bill, a total of 21 new bills have been listed for consideration and passage during the Monsoon Session. The Lok Sabha Secretariat’s bulletin highlights the inclusion of the Jan Vishwas (Amendment of Provisions) Bill, Digital Data Protection Bill, and the Multi-State Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill in the session’s agenda. These bills are expected to be discussed and deliberated upon by lawmakers.
Session Duration and Importance
The Monsoon Session of Parliament, spanning 17 sittings, will provide ample time for discussions and debates on various legislative matters. With a session of this duration, lawmakers have the opportunity to thoroughly scrutinize the bills and raise pertinent questions. The duration also allows for comprehensive deliberations to ensure that the best interests of the nation and its citizens are addressed during the legislative process.
The upcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament is expected to be eventful, with the focus primarily on the replacement of the Delhi Services Ordinance. As political parties align and strategize their positions, the session will serve as a crucial platform for democratic dialogue and decision-making. Moreover, the inclusion of other bills in the session’s agenda amplifies the importance of this parliamentary session in shaping the legislative landscape of the country.