Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung’s resignation on Thursday might have come as a surprise to many but official sources said that it was “in the offing”.
The decision was seemingly already made a couple of weeks ago and the government was looking for his successor. “It was mutually agreed,” said sources.
A home ministry official attributed Jung’s decision to hang his boots to “war weariness”. He was tired of the endless feud with the Aam Admi Party (AAP) government and couldn’t take it anymore, he said.
Another source in the government confirmed, saying that the L-G was finding it “increasingly difficult” to live up to the NDA government’s “expectations”in the national capital where the BJP lost to the Aam Aadmi Party in 2015 assembly elections.
His tumultuous tenure was marked by a continuous standoff with the AAP government over jurisdictional issues, be it the transfer of bureaucrats or rolling out of schemes and projects. The Supreme Court is now seized with the matter.
Jung, said sources, intimated his desire to quit to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi some time back.
Modi, sources said, had a dinner meeting with home minister Rajnath Singh in the evening, where the matter was discussed.
The NDA government was also inclined to bring a new face to change the perception about the Centre’s nominee not allowing an elected government to work. “Jung was not wrong but he should have handled the AAP government better,” said a senior BJP functionary.
Home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said on Thursday evening that the L-G had met him on Tuesday but gave no inkling of his intention to resign.
“I met him on Tuesday to discuss few issues of Delhi and he was supposed to come to meet me on Friday as all issues could not be discussed. During Tuesday’s meeting, the L-G didn’t give any clue about his intention to resign,” he said.
Sources said Jung had told a senior Rashtrapati Bhawan official last week, “I don’t think I would continue here for long.”
He was appointed by the UPA government and was among the very few who survived in the gubernatorial bungalows after the Narendra Modi came to power two and a half years back.