Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns citing personal reason
New Delhi, May 18: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns citing personal reasons. He has sent his resignation to the President Ram Nath Kovind.
Anil Baijal is a retired Central Government Civil Servant of the Indian Administrative Service cadre and served as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
He took over office on 31 December 2016 after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung. He suddenly resigned from the post of Lieutenant Governor and sent his resignation letter to President of India today.
Baijal, known to follow the rule book had been at loggerheads with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over several issues in the past.There was a running battle between L-G office and Kejriwal government with the latter constantly challenging the former's supremacy in the city administration.
In Delhi, three subjects land, services and law and order, directly come under the purview of the Lieutenant Governor. The matter regarding control over the services department is still in the Supreme Court.
The major face-off between the LG and the AAP government took place in June 2018 when Kejriwal along with his ministers --Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain and Gopal Rai-- held a dharna in the L-G office, alleging that IAS officers posted with the state government were not cooperating with elected representatives and non-approval of the doorstep delivery of ration Scheme by Baijal.
The tense relations between the LG and the AAP dispensation became less frequent after the Supreme Court ruling in July 2018 that the lieutenant governor of Delhi is bound by the "aid and advice" of the Delhi government.
In July last year also, the LG and the APP government were at loggerheads when Baijal overturned the Delhi Cabinet's decision to appoint a panel of lawyers of its choice to argue cases related to the farmers' agitation, triggering sharp reactions from Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
Sisodia had also accused Baijal of "encroaching upon" the domain of the elected government and violating the Supreme Court judgment of 2018.
The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2021, which gave primacy to the Lieutenant Governor (L-G) over the elected government in the city had come into effect in April last year after the notification of the Act by the Union Home Ministry.
In March this year, speculation about Baijal's exit was rife after a cryptic tweet by Kejriwal."Is Mr Praful Patel, Administrator of Lakshadweep, being made the next LG of Delhi?", Kejriwal had tweeted.
There is no clarity about Baijal's replacement but sources indicated that the Centre may appoint a person with a political background as Delhi's new LG as against a bureaucrat as per a long-standing practice.
Baijal, who had retired from service in 2006 as Urban Development Secretary, served as vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority and is known to be well versed with the city administration.
Baijal was actively associated with the designing and country-wide roll-out of Rs 60,000-crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Manmohan Singh government.
The former bureaucrat was also on the executive council of the think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation, several of whose former members have been appointed to senior positions by the Modi government including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.