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    HomeNationalDelhi Chief Secretary dismisses elected government's directive, citing GNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023.

    Delhi Chief Secretary dismisses elected government’s directive, citing GNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023.

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    The Central Government’s laws are starting to affect the people of Delhi. During a press conference, Services Minister Atishi revealed that the Chief Secretary has refused to accept an order for better coordination between the National Capital Civil Services Authority and Delhi government departments. This refusal is based on the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023.

    Atishi criticized this decision, stating that it gives unelected bureaucrats and the Lieutenant Governor the power to determine how Delhi will operate and how the people’s work will be done. She called the Chief Secretary’s letter a setback for democracy and argued that this bureaucratic mindset, along with the power granted by the bill, will hinder the work of Delhi’s residents.

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    The Services Minister explained that India’s constitution, established in 1950, declares India as a democratic republic where the people have the power to make decisions. Citizens vote for their representatives, who then work for the public. Elections are held every five years to allow people to choose their representatives.

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    However, the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023 goes against the principles of democracy. It limits decision-making power in Delhi to unelected bureaucrats and the Lieutenant Governor, rather than the elected government or the people. Atishi highlighted that a particular section of the bill allows bureaucrats to reject Ministers’ decisions and enables the Chief Secretary to refuse to execute orders. This move undermines democracy.

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    The consequences of this bill became evident on August 21 when Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar refused to accept the Minister’s directive. Just 10 days after its notification, the bill’s impact was already being felt. The Chief Secretary cited the GNCTD (Amendment) Bill as the reason for his refusal, asserting that the elected government does not have the power to decide.

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    Atishi emphasized that the Indian Constitution gives power to the people by allowing them to choose their representatives and send them to the Legislative Assembly. The elected government appoints Ministers who make public policies, programs, and decisions. This is known as the “triple chain of accountability.” However, this accountability breaks down when bureaucrats refuse to accept the decisions of the elected government and its Ministers.

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    The rejection of the Services Minister’s orders by the Chief Secretary is just the beginning of the issue, according to Atishi. The GNCTD (Amendment) Bill 2023 enables secretaries to reject Minister’s orders by writing long letters. Atishi stressed that the power to make decisions lies with the people, who have the right to elect based on the government’s actions. Bureaucracy and unelected officials do not have this power.

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