Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal Resigns Citing "Personal Reasons": Sources

A retired civil servant, Anil Baijal had taken over as Lieutenant Governor in December 2016 following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Najeeb Jung.

New Delhi:

The centre's representative to the capital, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, has submitted his resignation to President Ram Nath Kovind citing "personal reasons", sources told NDTV on Wednesday.

A retired civil servant, Mr Baijal had taken over as Lieutenant Governor in December 2016 following the abrupt resignation of his predecessor Najeeb Jung. He has completed his five-year tenure and an appointment of his successor has been due.

The role of Lieutenant Governor had been at the heart of an all-out power tussle between Delhi's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and the BJP, which rules at the centre, for years until a landmark Supreme Court judgement in 2018 that spelled out their powers more clearly.

The Lieutenant Governor does not have independent decision-making powers and the real power must lie with the elected government, the Supreme Court had ruled in a big win for Mr Kejriwal in the years-long fight for control of Delhi.

The top court emphasized that except for anything related to land, police and public order, the Lt Governor has no independent decision-making powers under the constitution.

The face-off, however, has continued to smoulder, with the Mr Baijal occasionally vetoing moves by the Arvind Kejriwal government and the AAP leader hitting back with acerbic remarks.

A 1969 batch IAS officer, Mr Baijal had served as Union Home Secretary under former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and held key positions in other ministries.

Under the Congress-led UPA government, he oversaw the Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

As Lieutenant Governor, Mr Baijal was chief of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority that spearheaded the capital's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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