New Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday staged protests at the national Capital’s Jantar Mantar area against a new Bill that gives overarching power to the Lieutenant Governor. All Cabinet ministers, MLAs, party MPs and councillors participated in the demonstration, which was led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

On Monday, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Centre tabled the National Capital Territory of Delhi Amendment Bill, 2021 in Parliament. The proposed law would significantly expand the powers of the Centre-appointed Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, at the cost of the elected Assembly. Among other things, the Bill proposes that the term “government” in the law that underpins the functioning of Delhi refers to the lieutenant governor and not the elected leadership.

The Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government has criticised the Bill calling it “dangerous”. Kejriwal said that it sought to drastically curtail powers of the elected government.

During Wednesday’s protests, the chief minister accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of disrespecting the people’s mandate. He said that election after election, the citizens of the Capital had made it abundantly clear that they do not want a BJP government, and voted for AAP. “The BJP leaders, they do not believe in the public, in democracy, in the constitution,” he added. “They do not accept the Supreme Court. They have cheated the public.”

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Health Minister Satyendra Jain said that the Bharatiya Janata Party was afraid of the progress made in Delhi under the Kejriwal government. “The BJP does not want Delhi to progress anymore,” he alleged.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made similar allegations, saying the saffron party was afraid of the AAP and its good governance policies. He said that the Bill was a conspiracy to weaken the elected government of Delhi, and stop its leaders from expanding their footprint across the country.