Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Monday said they are in talks with opposition parties to fight the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021, in the Upper House of Parliament.
AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh has sent a letter to the Rajya Sabha Chairman requesting him to direct the Centre to withdraw the Bill, which Mr. Singh said “violates” Constitutional provisions. He added that he opposed the introduction of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
Party insiders said AAP has been building consensus against the Bill with other political parties. These included national players such as the Indian National Congress as well as State parties like the Trinamool (TMC) and the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), among others.
“This Bill is an assault on the federal structure of the country and the party is reaching out to other political entities via this plank,” said a senior AAP leader.
“Several parties such as the TMC and RJD have publicly expressed their support for AAP on the issue and have criticised the BJP-led Centre for introducing the Bill,” the leader added.
Sources said Mr. Singh was part of the party’s outreach to oppose the Bill.
The Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on February 4, but the AAP has organised only one major protest (on March 17) against the legislation till now.
“We have opposed the Bill at every stage. On the day we held the protest at Jantar Mantar our workers were beaten up in Uttar Pradesh by the police for protesting against the Bill,” a party insider said, adding: “On Monday, TMC, Shiv Sena and other parties opposed the Bill in the Lok Sabha. The entire Opposition was united. The Bill is a brazen attempt to kill democracy.”
When asked whether AAP would approach the courts against the Bill, he said, “The party will explore all options to oppose the Bill. Right now, it is in Parliament.
“We have been opposing the Bill, but the party’s image also gets affected if it keeps fighting with the Centre. We were trying to send the Bill to a select committee,” another leader said.
There was a meeting at party chief Arvind Kejriwal’s house on Monday night to discuss the party’s strategy against the Bill, sources said.