Najeeb Jung resigned as the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi today with 18 months left in his tenure, saying he wants to return to his “first love, academics”. Mr Jung’s two years in office were dogged by his constant power tussle with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.
“Mr Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me, my best wishes in all his future endeavors,” Mr Kejriwal tweeted.Sources close to Mr Jung claimed it was not a sudden decision and he had been thinking of quitting for some months.
A statement from Mr Jung’s office said he thanked “the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year’s President Rule in Delhi, when he got unstinted support from them and which in turn helped run the administration in Delhi smoothly and effortlessly. “
He also thanked Mr Kejriwal, who accused him of acting as the Centre’s agent.
“Despite our bitter sweet experience, we wish him well,” Mr Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia told .AAP leader Kumar Vishwas commented that Mr Jung probably “was controlled elsewhere” and that he had no choice in the way he navigated a hostile relationship with the elected government in Delhi.
Mr Jung is a former bureaucrat and Vice Chancellor of the Jamia Millia Islamia University.AAP alleges that as the centre’s representative in Delhi, Mr Jung used his veto to strike down several Delhi government decisions in recent months.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had observed that “an elected government should have some power to run, otherwise the government cannot function.”
The centre and Mr Jung said because Delhi is not a state, the Lieutenant Governor has special powers, an argument accepted by the Delhi High Court which, in August, ruled against Mr Kejriwal. The court said that Mr Jung is the administrative head of the capital and has to sign off on government decisions.