Delhi Lt Governor Baijal resigns citing personal reasons, five bureaucrats in race for job

While Baijal had completed his five-year tenure almost a year-and-a-half ago, the Narendra Modi government preferred to continue with him

Published: 18th May 2022 05:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2022 08:59 PM   |  A+A-

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal (Photo| Special Arrangement)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal on Wednesday resigned from his position citing personal reasons after serving in that capacity since December 2016 when he took over the reins from Najeeb Jung. Baijal sent in his papers to President Ram Nath Kovind.

While Baijal had completed his five-year tenure almost a year-and-a-half ago, the Narendra Modi government preferred to continue with him.

Even as the Centre did not announce Baijal’s successor till this evening, the names of several serving and retired bureaucrats are being considered to succeed the outgoing Lieutenant Governor.

There are no clear front-runners but former Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, Daman and Diu Administrator Praful Patel and Bhaskar Khulbe (formerly an IAS officer of the 1983 batch and from West Bengal cadre), Advisor to the Prime Minister, are tipped to be considered for the job.

However, sources said that Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla could also figure among the top names for the next Delhi Lieutenant Governor. While Bhalla assumed the home secretary’s office in August 2019, he was given a one-year extension in service in August last year and is due to retire the same month this year.

A 1982 batch IAS officer of the Jharkhand cadre, Gauba, who was to retire on August 30, 2021, was also given a one-year extension.

The office of Delhi Lieutenant Governor was at the centre of power tussle between the AAP government of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the Centre till 2018 when the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment delineated the powers clearly.

The friction between Baijal and the Kejriwal administration, which occurred quite frequently, culminated in a big tussle when the Delhi Chief Minister, along with his council of ministers, staged a protest at the L-G’s office, alleging that IAS officers posted with the state government were not cooperating with the elected representatives.

A 1969 batch AGMUT cadre IAS officer, Baijal had previously served as vice-chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Subsequently, he was appointed home secretary in the Vajpayee government. After the Congress-led UPA government took power in 2004, Baijal was moved as secretary, Urban Development Ministry, where he oversaw the planning and implementation of the Rs 60,000-crore Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission.

In his 37-year career, Baijal had stints as Indian Airlines CMD, Prasar Bharati Corporation’s CEO, Goa Development Commissioner and Counseller in charge of India’s aid programme in Nepal.


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