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‘Surgical strike on federal structure’: Mamata extends support to Kejriwal over NCT Bill

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on Thursday, wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and extended support to the Aam Aadmi Party’s protest against the National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021. Referring to the bill as a ‘surgical strike’, Banerjee said that she will also write to all non-BJP chief ministers and seek their support on the matter.

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“The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which the BJP Government at the Centre has introduced in the Lok Sabha, is a surgical strike on the Federal Structure of the Indian Republic as enshrined in the Constitution,” Banerjee wrote in her letter to Kejriwal.

The bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy on Monday. Citing the move, Banerjee said that time has come for a ‘united and effective fight against the BJP’s attack on democracy

Banerjee said that she would have personally visited Delhi to protest against the NCT Bill if there were no elections in West Bengal.

“I wish you success in your struggle. Your struggle is my struggle,” she said.

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Launching a political attack on the BJP ahead of the polls, Banerjee said – “It is evident to all that both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah have not been able to stomach the humiliating defeat the BJP suffered at the hands of the Aam Aadmi Party in both 2014 and 2019 assembly elections. They want to govern Delhi by proxy, which is the real purpose of the proposed amendments to the GNCTD Act.”

The AAP lawmakers have staged a protest against the bill that gives more powers to the Lieutenant Governor in the national capital. The Bill aims to expand the involvement of the Lieutenant Governor in the day-to-day functioning of the national capital. The AAP has alleged that the bill aims to undermine the role of the elected government.

Slamming the BJP-led central government, Kejriwal alleged that as they failed in “buying” AAP MLAs, they have amended a law to “decrease the power of the elected government in Delhi.”

Congress MP Manish Tiwari on Thursday gave a notice for an adjournment motion in Lok Sabha demanding a discussion on the proposed amendments.

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