- Arvind Kejriwal said he had asked for an appointment with Rajnath Singh
- Mr Kejriwal wants to urge Mr Singh "to follow Hon'ble SC's orders"
- On Friday, Mr Kejriwal met Delhi's Lt Governor Anil Baijal
The centre has told Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal that the 2015 presidential order that kept 'services' out of the purview of the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi continues to be valid after the Supreme Court ruling, setting up a face-off between the BJP-ruled centre and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who met Mr Baijal earlier in the day, said he had asked for an appointment with Home Minister Rajnath Singh to "urge him to follow Hon'ble SC's orders". It is very dangerous, he tweeted, that the central government has advised the Lt Governor to ignore the part of the court order that restricted Raj Niwas's powers to only three subjects.
The Home Ministry promptly rebutted the charge, saying it hadn't asked the Lt Governor to ignore the verdict but only asked that the law be followed.
Mr Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party have interpreted Wednesday's Supreme Court verdict to imply that the chief minister, and not the Lt Governor, could get back powers to appoint and transfer officials. The court had ruled that the elected government could take decisions on all subjects except police, land and public order.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal told Mr Kejriwal in a letter that the union home ministry had advised against any change in control over the services department since the top court hadn't cancelled the May 2015 order which "continues to be valid".
It was a response to Mr Kejriwal's letter that had extensively quoted portions of the Supreme Court's 535-page order to make the point that the judges had unequivocally crowned him as Delhi's administrative boss with some exceptions.
Mr Baijal's response followed a similar pattern.
Referring to the court's finding that Delhi wasn't a state and there was no room for absolutism or anarchy, the Lt Governor referred to the concluding portion of the verdict. In this, he wrote, the judges made it clear that "the nine appeals including the one relating to 'Services' shall be taken up by the learned regular Bench".
Lt Governor Baijal reiterated the message at his meeting with Mr Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia on Friday afternoon.
Mr Baijal, who has been accused of blocking implementation of the city government's decisions, however, conceded that he did not have the right to see official files after the court verdict and usually should act on the advice of the Delhi cabinet.