NEW DELHI: Ending ambiguity on the Congress stance on the contentious Delhi ordinance, the party on Saturday said it will oppose the Narendra Modi government’s assault on constitutional rights of democratically elected state governments both in Parliament and outside it.
The Centre’s ordinance snatched back the powers of the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi over bureaucratic transfers and postings shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in AAP’s favour.
The ordinance was a major point of contention between Congress and the AAP with the former unwilling until now to categorically announce its support on the matter.
In a related development, the Congress said the AAP is expected to participate in the second meeting of the Opposition in Bengaluru on July 17-18.
The party’s decision on the ordinance was announced by AICC general secretary Jairam Ramesh after a Parliamentary Strategy Group meeting chaired by Sonia Gandhi here.
When asked whether the Congress will oppose the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2023, which will be brought in Parliament in the upcoming monsoon session, Ramesh said, “The Congress has always fought against the Modi government’s assault on the constitutional rights and responsibilities of democratically elected state governments and local bodies. This assault comes directly from the appointees of the Modi government like the Governors. We have opposed it in Parliament and we will continue to oppose it,” he said.
The NCT Bill seeks to replace the ordinance that restored the Lieutenant Governor’s control over the transfer and postings of bureaucrats in the national Capital. The Ordinance was promulgated in May last, overturning a Supreme Court ruling.
When asked whether the AAP will attend the second Opposition meeting in Bangalore, Ramesh said, “As far as I know, AAP is one of the 24 Opposition parties that will attend.”
Saturday’s meeting was the Strategy Group’s second interaction within a fortnight. It also came just two days before the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru. The meeting also deliberated on the crucial issues to be taken up by Congress in the upcoming session of Parliament that begins on July 20.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has already received support from several Opposition parties on the ordinance, including the Trinamool Congress, JD(U) and the BRS.