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Kejriwal meets Rajnath Singh, seeks control of transfer, postings of bureaucrats

The meeting took place at home minister Rajnath Singh’s residence where Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal sought his intervention on the services issue, which has become a bone of contention between the AAP dispensation and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal.

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2018 23:49 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal,Rajnath Singh,SC verdict on Delhi
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal with deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia arrive to meet home minister Rajnath Singh, at Akbar road, in New Delhi.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and deputy Manish Sisodia on Wednesday met union home minister Rajnath Singh to seek control of powers to appoint and transfer bureaucrats in the city government.

According to Union home ministry officials, Singh assured Kejriwal that he would seek legal opinion on the matter.

The meeting took place at Singh’s residence where Kejriwal sought his intervention on the services issue, which has become a bone of contention between the AAP dispensation and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal.

Kejriwal had sought an appointment with Singh last week, requesting him to implement the Supreme Court’s July 4 order that defined the role of the elected government and the L-G in the city administration.

The CM has been insisting that the services department was under the elected government’s purview as the court had made it clear the L-G had control over only land, police and public order.

But the L-G said the issue over control of the services department was still pending before the regular bench of the court.

“We met Rajnath ji and told him that the L-G and the central government were interpreting the order in a ‘strange’ manner. They say they would accept only half part of the order (which says L-G’s concurrence is not required) but will not accept the part related to ‘services’. I read out the SC judgment to Singh para by para and he gave us a patient hearing,” Kejriwal said.

“Arvind Kejriwal came and met the home minister. The HM listened to him and assured he will seek legal opinion on the issue,” said a home ministry official requesting anonymity.

Kejriwal said para 277 (21) of the SC order said that files would not go to the L-G and the Delhi government was independent to take decisions. He said para 14, 15 and 16 clarified that except three subjects (land, police and public order), the power to take decisions on all other subjects rested with the city government, which means that AAP government will have control on “services”.

“How can you (L-G) say that you would follow half of the constitution bench judgment and half of the regular bench decision (which is yet to come)? Like this, they will disrupt the Supreme Court as they did in case of the Delhi government,” Kejriwal told reporters.

The CM said Singh assured him of full cooperation.

“He (Singh) looked satisfied with our explanation on the issue. He assured he will meet us again on July 16 after discussing the matter with his officers. Let’s see what he discusses with his officers,” Kejriwal said.

First Published: Jul 11, 2018 21:16 IST