A former Union home secretary is among those seen as frontrunners for the post of Delhi's Lieutenant Governor after the sudden resignation of Najeeb Jung last night, according to several media reports.
News18 reported that Anil Baijal, a former member of the executive council of the think tank Vivekananda International Foundation, is being considered for the job that pitted Jung directly against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for most part of his tenure, leading to bitter exchanges of words often on social media.
Kejriwal, who often accused Jung of acting at the behest of the Centre, said the resignation came as a surprise to him.
Sh Jung's resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 22, 2016
ABP news said Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer who served as home secretary in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, was a "brilliant officer". He has also served as the Chairman & Managing Director of Indian Airlines, Chief Executive Officer of Prasar Bharti and Vice-Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority.
Times of India said, among other names, two prominent ones being discussed in the political circles are that of retired bureaucrat Ashok Pradhan and former IAS officer Vijai Kapoor. Kapoor was in fact the Delhi LG between 1998 and 2004.
Kejriwal is said to have met Jung after his resignation.
An undated letter of Jung surfaced on Thursday in which he had written to Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi apprising him he would be on a private visit to Goa from December 25 to January 1, according to PTI.
But three days before he was scheduled to go on the seven-day trip, he put in his papers.
"I will be undertaking a private visit to Goa from December 25, 2016 to January 1, 2017. I will leave Delhi in the afternoon of Sunday, 25 December 2016, and will be back on evening of Sunday, 01 January 2017," Jung said in the letter.
Mehrishi seemed a surprised as the rest of the country.
"L-G met me on Tuesday and had a discussion for nearly half-an-hour, but he did not give any indication of submitting his resignation. Another meeting of mine with the L-G is scheduled for Friday," he told the Indian Express.
Jung said that in his absence, Delhi Chief Secretary would keep in touch with him about important developments. Jung's office said he has submitted his resignation to the Centre. Jung, 65, a former IAS officer, had assumed charge of Lt Governor of Delhi on July 9, 2013.
(Inputs from PTI)