Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal has been appointed as the next Lieutenant Governor of the National Capital Territory of New Delhi. Anil Baijal has had a distinguished career as a bureaucrat and is said to be very close to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval. Mr. Baijal is also a member of the Vivekanand International Foundation (VIF) and is another appointee of the Narendra Modi Government from the revered institution.
Mr. Baijal’s appointment was necessitated due to the sudden resignation of the outgoing Delhi LG, Mr. Najeeb Jung, who gave his resignation on the 22nd of December. It took the government a week to accept Mr. Jung’s resignation and make another appointment as President Pranab Mukherjee was not in Delhi to sign off on these developments.
Mr. Baijal is a career bureaucrat of the 1969 batch IAS officer of the Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre who has served all throughout the country in various official positions. He was the Union Home Secretary when the BJP was in power the last time with Mr. Vajpayee at the helm. He has also been the CMD of Air India in the past. He has also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). Mr. Baijal was instrumental in rolling out the Rs 60,000 crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal.
The position of the LG in New Delhi is very very prestigious as he is the de-facto ruler of New Delhi. As per a recent Delhi High Court ruling, the LG has the executive powers in New Delhi and unlike other states, where the Governor has to adhere to the decisions of the elected Chief Minister, the LG in Delhi can refuse to do so. In case of a conflict between the LG and the Delhi Government, the Central Government has the power to rule on the matter. This makes the position of the LG even more important and hence, the Central Government needs someone who can handle the situation with ease.
The Delhi LG has been involved in regular skirmishes with the Arvind Kejriwal led AAP government and Mr. Jung’s sudden resignation is being looked at with suspicion. However, with Mr. Baijal’s long list of achievements, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s life is sure to become tougher.