Parliament approves bill to merge two UTs
Parliament on Tuesday passed a bill to merge two Union territories Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli into one unit.
The Rajya Sabha passed the Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu (Merger of Union Territories) Bill, 2019 through voice vote. Lok Sabha had passed this bill on November 27.
Responding to the bill, minister of state for home G Kishen Reddy said that the measure will help in strengthening administrative efficiency and fast track the development of the two union territories. Merging will also help in cutting down administrative cost, he said, adding the move was supported by civil societies along with the elected member of Parliament of that area.
“The local administration also requested for integration, hence we have taken this step,” said Reddy.
The merged Union Territory will be named as Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu. “The name is long but we have taken this keeping in the sentiments of the local people there,” said Reddy.
Replying to the concerns of some members, Reddy said that the merged UTs would officially function in the same language in which they were working.
Moreover, it would also continue the reservation provided to people in the two union territories and the Bombay High Court will continue its jurisdiction over the merged UTs.
Participating in the debate, Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s K K Ragesh asked whether such bill requires two-third majority of the house as it is amending the first schedule of the Constitution.
Replying to him, Home Minister Amit Shah said this is not a constitutional amendment. It is changing the Union Territories, hence it is not required.