Mystery shrouds Najeeb Jung's sudden exit

Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung | PTI



Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asked union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi about the pending issues related to Delhi government, an informal discussion took place on Tuesday and Jung left North Block after taking stock of all the matters that were not complete during his tenure as the administrator of the national capital. 

On Thursday, Jung submitted his resignation to President Pranab Mukherjee, taking the Delhi government Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government by surprise. This time, there was no scope for a tussle as Jung did not leave any chance for one to be stirred up. He had thrown in his hat after completing more than three years in his post, which does not have any 'fixed tenure' unlike the appointments of governors in states. 

Mehrishi said he was taken by surprise and was not aware of the LG's decision. They were supposed to have another meeting on Friday. The home secretary may meet Jung in the next few days. 

“I was not aware and nor did the LG tell me about his decision to resign. His resignation has not reached the home ministry yet,” Mehrishi said. Delhi being a UT, the LG looks after the Delhi police and reports to the union home ministry.

“For LGs, there is no fixed tenure unlike governors who are appointed for a fixed five year tenure or till further orders. While, no tenure is specified for the LGs and it is entirely upto the discretion of the President, normally, LGs serve three to five years in UTs,” said a home ministry official.

While the Centre is tight lipped about Jung's sudden exit, there are indications which suggest that it was only a matter of time before the office of the LG saw a change, after the appointment was made by the previous UPA government in July 2013. The jurisdictional issues between the LG and Delhi government dominated Jung's tenure which saw bitter tussles on a range of issues from 'who is Delhi government – LG or the elected government' -- to transfers and postings of bureaucrats.

While the LG, on his part, was unhappy with the way his office was being overlooked by the Kejriwal government, the union home ministry wasn't very pleased on a number of occasions on his handling of certain matters.

Jung's resignation has not been accepted till now, and reached the union home ministry for due procedural clearances and notifications. Till his resignation is accepted and a new appointment made, Jung continues in his charge, said a top official.

But once his resignation is accepted, it is likely that the government will announce the fresh appointment to the post of LG. Names have already started doing the rounds for Jung's successor and speculation is rife that the possible contenders for the post could be Anil Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer who served as home secretary in Vajpayee government; G.K.Pillai, former home secretary during the tenure of UPA government and former Delhi police commissioner Bhim Sain Bassi among others.

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