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Saturday, July 02, 2022

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns, cites personal reasons

Baijal took over as the 21st Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in December, 2016.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 19, 2022 1:46:24 am
Anil Baijal

Anil Baijal, who was appointed as the Delhi Lieutenant Governor in 2016, has sent his resignation to the President of India. Baijal, 76, has resigned for personal reasons, sources said.

The 1969-batch IAS officer’s tenure as L-G was 5 years and 5 months. He was earlier the vice-chairperson of the Delhi Development Authority and Union Home Secretary during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. He retired in 2006 as Union Urban Development Secretary.

His tenure was marked by regular run-ins with the AAP-led Delhi government. The biggest face-off happened in 2018 when CM Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet of ministers sat on a dharna in Baijal’s office, alleging that IAS officers posted with the state government were not working in tandem with elected officials. He was also at loggerheads with the government over the implementation of the doorstep delivery of services and ration schemes.

While the Delhi government was also locked in battle with Baijal’s predecessor Najeeb Jung, Baijal was the L-G for the majority of the seven years that the AAP government has been in power. In 2021, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 was passed by the Parliament, which effectively made the L-G the overall head of the Delhi government, meaning all files would have to be passed through him.

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Sources said that while the government was apprehensive that Baijal would try to take control of the government following the amendment being passed, he continued to work in tandem with elected representatives.

The biggest issues arising lately was over the appointment of special public prosecutors in the Delhi riots, anti-CAA protest and Red Fort violence cases, where he cleared the panel put forth by the Delhi Police instead of going with the Delhi government’s panel.

“Despite their disagreements over several issues, the Delhi government had a cordial working relationship with him. Baijal being a mild-mannered officer, who had spent a great deal of time in the bureaucracy, handled the fraught relationship between the two wings well, especially during Covid as he headed the Delhi Disaster Management Authority,” said a Delhi government official who did not wish to be named.

Delhi, at present, is undergoing an administrative flux, with a new Chief Secretary appointed in April, and a Special Officer for the unified Municipal Corporation of Delhi expected to be appointed soon till the new house is elected.

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