Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung, whose nearly three-and-a-half-year tenure was marked by frequent run-ins with the AAP government, sprang a surprise by resigning from his post on Thursday, triggering speculation whether he was asked to quit. The sudden announcement that the 65-year-old former bureaucrat had quit took political circles by surprise since only a few days earlier he had written to the Centre that he was going on leave to Goa during Christmas and had even scheduled a meeting with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi.
Jung’s clash with the AAP government headed by Arvind Kejriwal that frequently reached the doors of judiciary led to speculation whether his decision had anything to do with the anticipated Supreme Court judgement next month on the powers of an elected government. He had often overruled decisions of the Kejriwal government and the Supreme Court had even observed in one of the hearings that an elected government should have some powers. Jung had invited criticism that his run-ins with the AAP government often brought governance in the capital to a standstill.
The speculation ranged between the Centre asking him to quit and the possibility of some embarrassing disclosures that could have persuaded him to put in his papers but his top aide Ajay Choudhury maintained it was purely personal. In a brief statement, Jung’s office said he has submitted his resignation to the government and that he would be returning to academics, “his first love”. Before becoming LG, Jung had headed the Jamia Millia Islamia university as Vice Chancellor.
Mehrishi said Jung had given no indication two days ago when he had a meeting with him. “The LG met me day before yesterday but he did not give any indication of submitting his resignation. Another meeting of mine with the LG is scheduled for tomorrow (Friday)… I have come to know about his resignation only from the media,” Mehrishi told reporters. Jung thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his help and cooperation and Chief Minister Kejriwal for his two-year “association”.