Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns, cites personal reasons

Anil Baijal, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi since 2016, has submitted his resignation to the President of India. According to insiders, Baijal, 76, resigned for personal reasons.

The IAS officer from the 1969 batch served as L-G for 5 years and 5 months. During the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, he served as vice-chairman of the Delhi Development Authority and as Union Home Secretary. He left the position of Union Urban Development Secretary in 2006.

Regular clashes with the AAP-led Delhi administration marred his tenure. In 2018, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet of ministers staged a dharna outside Baijal’s office, saying that state government IAS personnel were not working in sync with elected authorities. He also clashed with the administration over the implementation of doorstep service delivery and rationing programmes.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns, cites personal reasons

While the Delhi government was also at odds with Baijal’s predecessor, Najeeb Jung, during the most of the AAP government’s seven years in power, Baijal was the L-G. Parliament passed the Administration of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act, 1991 in 2021, thereby making the L-G the overall head of the Delhi government and requiring all papers to go through him.

While the government was concerned that Baijal would try to seize control of the government once the amendment was passed, sources claimed he continued to collaborate with elected officials.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal resigns, cites personal reasons

The most recent controversy arose over the appointment of special public prosecutors in the Delhi riots, anti-CAA demonstration, and Red Fort violence cases, where he cleared the Delhi Police panel rather than the Delhi government’s panel.

“Despite their differences on a number of topics, the Delhi government maintained a friendly working relationship with him. “Being a mild-mannered officer with a lot of bureaucratic experience, Baijal handled the tense relationship between the two wings effectively, especially when he was heading the Delhi Disaster Management Authority during Covid,” said a Delhi government source who did not want to be identified.

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