In the last 22 months since Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as Chief Minister, the capital has witnessed a constant administrative tug-of-war between him and Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung, who tendered his resignation on Thursday.
While Kejriwal has repeatedly attacked Jung in his public addresses and on social media, Jung has been known to try and play down their differences. From bureaucratic appointments to law-and-order in the capital, there have been one too many flashpoints in the relationship between the two offices.
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The Chief Minister had described Jung as an “agent” of the BJP at the Centre, and recently tweeted that no matter how hard Jung tried, Prime Minister Narendra Modi would never make him the vice-president of India.
However, in an interview to The Indian Express in August, Jung had said, “We (Kejriwal and I) have never had an unpleasant moment between us.”
Pivotal to the differences over the powers of the Chief Minister and the L-G was the decision of the Delhi High Court on August 4, in which it held that Delhi was a Union Territory under the authority of the L-G.
Following the court ruling, however, Jung set up a three-member committee under comptroller and auditor general V K Shunglu to examine more than 400 files submitted to the L-G containing “infirmities and irregularities”. The reports apparently delved into financial irregularities and other charges levelled against the AAP government. The constitution of the committee further aggravated the conflict between the two sides, with the Delhi Cabinet passing a resolution declaring the committee “illegal”.
From the interim appointment of former power secretary Shakuntala Gamlin as acting chief secretary, to the locking out of former General Administration Department secretary Anindo Majumdar from his office — bureaucratic appointments have been at the centre of the turf war. The standoff had led to the appointment of two home secretaries — one by the L-G, the other by the elected government — and two Anti-Corruption Branch chiefs last year. Recently, two member secretaries were appointed in the Delhi Commission for Women by the two sides.
In September, at the peak of a chikungunya outbreak in the capital, Jung had publicly asked Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to cut short his official trip to Finland. This had led to a clash between the two, with Sisodia saying that the L-G could have called him up, and that cutting short his trip would bring him back to Delhi only 12 hours