Anil Baijal, who took oath as Delhi’s new lieutenant governor on Saturday, said he will work together with the AAP government for the betterment of Delhi but “doesn’t know how to improve the embittered relationship between the state government and the L-G office”.
Baijal’s predecessor Jung had several run-ins with the Delhi government with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal accusing the L-G of trying to run the city’s administration by proxy. Baijal will have to navigate complicated jurisdictional issues that arise out of Delhi’s unique position as a union territory acting as the national capital
“This is a speculative question and I will not oblige you. I don’t know why and how the relationship will improve and whether it will improve or not. We will sit together and talk and you will get to know,” he told reporters, replying to queries on how does he aim to better ther relations between the Raj Niwas and the Secretariat.
Baijal thanked the President and the Prime Minister for the opportunity.
“Delhi is now a huge megapolis and has many problems- law and order, security, women safety, infrastructure, civic amenities, congestion and pollution. We all know what the problem is and we will work for the solution,” he said.
On the issue of full statehood to Delhi, he said the matter is pending with the Supreme Court.
A 1969 batch India Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the Union Territories cadre, Baijal was removed as Union home secretary when the UPA government assumed power in May, 2004.
After retirement, Baijal was member of the executive council of Vivekananda International Foundation (VIF), which had current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval as its founder director.
He was appointed as home secretary in February, 2004 by the then Atal Bihari Vajpayee government but after surprise victory of the UPA in May, 2004 general election, Baijal was transferred as civil aviation secretary on July 1 the same year.
He superannuated in 2006 as the secretary in the urban development ministry. Interestingly, Delhi’s current chief secretary MM Kutty was one of the joint secretaries in the urban development ministry then. Kutty joined the urban development ministry in June, 2006 and Baijal retired as secretary, urban development in October.
After retirement, Baijal served on the boards of many corporate entities.