Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena on Monday wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal inviting him for a meeting to discuss governance issues in Delhi, eliciting a suggestion of public debate on the matter from him.
Mr Kejriwal in his response to the LG's letter, also took umbrage at his remarks, where the LG said the chief minister was unable to take governance in Delhi "seriously" due to his election campaigns in other states.
The LG said the chief minister used to meet him regularly till October 2022 but later he expressed his inability to do so due to his preoccupation with assembly and municipal polls.
Since the polls are over, the meetings should be resumed for "deliberative and conflict-free" governance of the city in the interest of the people, Mr Saxena said.
Citing several letters he received from Mr Kejriwal, the LG at the outset of his letter said: "I would like to express my appreciation for the fact that you have started taking governance in the city seriously and gotten into the intricacies of Constitutional provisions, Statutes and Acts that outline the multi-layered scheme of administration in the National Capital Territory of Delhi."
Mr Kejriwal responded to him saying, "AAP is a national party and as its national convenor, I have to attend election campaigns in different parts of the country."
"Hon'ble Prime Minister, Hon'ble Home Minister and many BJP Chief Ministers like Yogi Adityanath ji, Shivraj Singh ji, Pushkar Dhami ji etc were also campaigning for their party at that time in Gujarat and Delhi," Mr Kejriwal added.
Mr Kejriwal said he will "definitely" go to meet the LG after fixing a convenient date with his office.
He said an important discussion has started in the last few days, which has critical bearings on Indian democracy, even as he went to ask Mr Saxena to clarify his stand on the question of supremacy between the elected government and the LG administration in the city.
"I would urge you to kindly make your stand on those issues public. When your goodself unilaterally appointed 10 aldermen, presiding officer, and the Haj committee bypassing the elected govt and directly getting the officers to issue necessary notifications, there was strong public criticism," Mr Kejriwal said.
Mr Kejriwal had on January 7 too asked the LG to make his stand clear to the public on the supremacy question.
He sought from the LG to know whether all subjects where the LG was referred to "administrator", the elected government would be "bypassed/ignored" and he would directly deal with the officers and run departments.
For instance, all laws and acts related to electricity, health, water, education etc - all define the government as "Administrator/LG." "So, does it mean that from now on, the power department, education department, health department, water department etc - all these will be directly run by you?" Mr Kejriwal asked.
"Then what would the elected govt do, sir? Won't that be contrary to all SC judgements where it has been repeatedly said that LG is bound by aid and advice of the Council of Ministers on all transferred subjects?" he said.
He said that all the issues could be discussed "privately over tea ...public discussion on this issue will be useful." Mr Saxena in his Monday letter to Mr Kejriwal said the provisions governing administration in Delhi emanate out of serious deliberations in the Constituent Assembly, State Reorganisation Commission, and Parliament.
The provisions governing administration in Delhi "... are amply clear for any practitioner of statecraft, lawyer and scholar as indeed a common citizen. I would like to invite you for a meeting where we could discuss issues threadbare," he said.
They have also been clearly interpreted by the Supreme Court on several occasions, he added.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)