In a surprise announcement on Thursday, Najeeb Jung announced he was stepping down from his position as Delhi’s lieutenant governor.
Many believe Jung’s decision was a surprise to the Centre as well for a day before his announcement, he had met the Union home secretary and informed him about a seven-day leave to visit Goa.
In office for about three-and-a-half years, Jung’s tenure has largely been marked by an acrimonious tussle with the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government over the national capital’s administration.
The power struggle is rooted in Delhi’s unique position: a Union territory functioning as the Capital with the elected government having negligible say over important departments and agencies.
When Jung goes, he also leaves behind ongoing legal tussles in the matter – issues his successor will have to tackle.
The government is yet to accept Jung’s resignation or appoint his successor, but former Union secretaries GK Pillai and Anil Baijal are believed to be strong contenders for the job.
Former Delhi police chief BS Bassi, who was the police commissioner for about three years, is also in the fray, sources said.
Jung, as it stands, was one of the few Congress-government appointments that the Narendra Modi administration did not change. A former vice chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia, Jung was also believed to have been a top candidate to replace Hamid Ansari, the vice-president of India.