In a sudden move, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday resigned amid a protracted bitter confrontation with the AAP government. Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal is tipped to be the next LG of Delhi after Jung. Baijal had also emerged as the front-runner to replace N N Vohra as Jammu and Kashmir Governor.
Without citing reasons, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation on Thursday to the Centre. 65-year-old Jung, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of LG of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
“Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has submitted his resignation to the Government of India. He thanks the Prime Minister for all the help and cooperation he received during his tenure,” the LG’s office said in a statement. The reason behind his surprise decision is not immediately known. Jung also thanked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his association in the last two years. “Jung would be returning back to his first love, which is, academics,” said his office.
Jung’s tenure as LG was the most controversial one in the history of the national Capital. From getting 27 MLAs arrested at his behest to giving approval to the CBI to arrest Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former Principal Secretary, Jung was also held responsible for charge-sheeting DCW chief Swati Maliwal who has done tremendous work to ensure the safety and security of women in the national Capital.
The speed in which an FIR and charge-sheet has been made against her shows a deliberate attempt to prevent her and her team at DCW from working on major issues that concern the safety of women especially of those who are exploited daily. Earlier, Maliwal even mentioned during a press conference that her pressure on the Lieutenant Governor (Najeeb Jung) on acting against the brothels at GB Road was one major reason of her being wrongly targeted.
The ACB on Wednesday filed a charge-sheet against Maliwal in an alleged case of irregularities in the appointments to the women’s right panel. Jung’s association with Reliance industries is a known fact. He used to lead operations at the company’s Barakhamba Road office and looked after the group’s relations with the government and supervised lobbyist Nira Radia. Jung’s stint with Reliance came under heavy criticism and was termed unethical. His association with Mukesh Ambani was tipped to be the main reason for him to ensure that the FIR filed by Kejriwal was derailed and failed to reach its logical end.
The AAP government had nominated directors to the boards of the three power distribution companies — BSES Rajdhani Power limited (BRPL), BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL), owned by Anil Ambani, and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (TPDDL), but Jung refused to acknowledge the appointments. He also saw to it that the investigations against Anil Ambani did not reach its logical conclusion as well.
In September last year, Jung had directed all officers, including IAS and DANICS, not to follow the Delhi government orders which were declared by the Centre as “null and void”. This year, soon after the verdict of the Delhi High Court, Jung set up a panel to examine over 400 files pertaining to the AAP government’s decisions. The resignation comes 18 months before the completion of his tenure.