Najeeb Jung

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As the LG of Delhi

Tenure: July 2013 to December 2016

The Times of India, Dec 23, 2016

Najeeb Jung: a journey as LG of Delhi; The Times of India, Dec 24, 2016

Jung is a 1973 batch IAS officer and was vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia university before he was appointed Delhi's LG on July 9, 2013.

Jung's three-and-a-half years in office were domina ted by frequent run-ins with Kejriwal over administrative control of Delhi, with the LG terming several decisions of the AAP government illegal for not following procedures. The LG won a crucial vic tory when the Delhi high court upheld his primacy in administering the capital but the battle is not yet over with the matter before the Supreme Court, which is hearing the appeal filed by the AAP government. The SC recently remarked that while Delhi was indeed a Union Territory , the elected government should have “some powers“.

Jung's resignation closes a chapter, but differences between the Delhi government and the Centre are likely to persist with a sharp political rivalry driving the animosity . Kejriwal has repeatedly claimed he was prevented from functioning by the Centre and the saffron party has responded with the charge that AAP had no interest in governance.

There were no indications of Jung's replacements though political circles were abuzz with speculation over names that ranged from former home secretary Anil Baijal, retired bureaucrat Ashok Pradhan and former IAS officer Vijai Kapoor who was Delhi LG between 1998 and 2004. Official sources said guesswork was premature.

Despite his genteel air, Jung displayed a combative streak and oversaw a tumultuous phase in Delhi's politics, repeatedly clashing with Kejriwal on matters such as appointments to the anti-corruption bureau and of top bureaucrats.

Jung challenged the AAP government's view that as an elected government, it had powers to make certain appointments and issue orders as constitutionally unsound and set up a committee to review some 400 decisions. The committee report has been submitted and will be on the top of his successor's agenda.


Jung made Kejriwal end dharna in 2014, Dec 23, 2016: The Times of India

While the stalemate between CM Arvind Kejriwal and LG Najeeb Jung dominated the political discourse in Delhi for over two years, there was an exception at one point.When the LG played a pivotal role in getting Kejriwal to end his dharna during AAP's 49day regime in 2014, it was Jung who faced criticism from a section in the UPA government.Some party members had felt Jung provided an escape route to Kejriwal when he had his back to the wall and the Centre could have twisted the knife.

“A good opportunity to corner him was lost because the matter was seen as a law and order issue rather than a political problem,“ said a Congress source.

Resignation as the LG of Delhi: December 2016

Rajshekhar Jha, Najeeb did a tough job to keep cops, govt apart, Dec 23, 2016: The Times of India

 Around 4.30pm on Dec 21, 2016, the Anti-Corruption Branch, almost out of the blue, announced that it had filed a charge sheet in the case regarding illegal appointments at the Delhi Commission for Women. Though, the investigations against DCW chief Swati Maliwal had been completed a fortnight ago, ACB officials had hinted the charge sheet would be filed earliest only in January . Dec 21st announcement was singular, therefore, though ACB chief M K Meena tried to sound casual about the sudden move.

The reason for the step became clear 24 hours later, when lieutenant-governor Najeeb Jung announced his resignation from the post.ACB and Delhi Police, two units at loggerheads with the Aam Aadmi Party government, were being run by Jung. The lieutenant governor relinquishing charge may now mean a headache for the central government, which has to find someone to manage the units efficiently .

Jung had a big hand in revamping ACB at a time when the absence of order there had begun to pose severe problems for the central government. From ousting its then chief, SS Yadav, to bringing in Meena and virtually installing an all-new staff -from the SHO to the investigating officers -Jung made sure the anti-graft agency remained out of the AAP government's grasp.

As Arvind Kejriwal's government contended with the LG for control of ACB, which it considered its most prominent weapon in fighting corruption, Jung ensured that the Centre would not be caught in any awkward situation arising out of investigations.

Contrary to belief that he catalysed ACB into frenetic activity, particularly against the ruling regime, Jung actually restrained its officers, who had till then exhibited a penchant for arresting people before collecting substantial evidence against them.

Sources said that Jung, in the last few months, felt overburdened at having to effect the smooth functioning of Delhi Police. He even had to chair meetings with district police heads and joint commissioners of ranges and instruct them on maintenance of law and order. For instance, with the city on high alert in the aftermath of the terror attacks in Kashmir, Jung held two meetings inside of a week with DCPs and joint CPs, an unprecedented step.These acts had given rise to rumours that Jung had ruffled the feathers of the police commissioner.


Love for books

The Times of India, Dec 23 2016

While Najeeb Jung gave the impression of an academically inclined administrator, he actually went through a very eventful political tenure as lieutenant governor. Handpicked by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance, then in power at the Centre, in July 2013, the former civil servant and academic was inducted into Delhi's complex governance framework by the then CM Sheila Dikshit. Soon after, Jung took centrestage as the citystate grappled with a hung assembly and a turbulent 49-day AAP government, followed by a year-long president's rule. The years since has seen the LG and the state government duelling over administrative powers.

Jung, 65 now, came with a stellar background in academics as an alumnus of Delhi University and London School of Economics. In 1973, he joined Indian Administrative Service and served in key positions in Madhya Pra desh and with the central government, including as joint secretary in the ministry of petroleum and natural gas.After resigning from IAS, he had stints in the Asian Development Bank and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies at Oxford University .

Jung was the VC of Jamia Millia Islamia when the call for lieutenant-governorship came. Just months into his tenure, he had to contend with the acrimony arising from the hung assembly thrown up by the December 2013 polls.In the days after the support of the Congress put Arvind Kejriwal's minority government at the helm, Jung started to proactively exercise his role as administrator to ensure smooth relations between the Centre and state. His penchant for playing the peacemaker was evident when CM Kejriwal sat on protest outside Rail Bhawan demanding the suspension of three police officers. In a goodwill gesture, Jung sent the CM hot paranthas and coaxed Kejriwal to come to the discussion table. The one year of president's rule that followed the fall of Kejriwal's 49day government reconfigured the role of the LG as Delhi's administrator. Unlike his predecessors, Jung camped at the state secretariat reviewing the work of government departments, inspecting drains, visiting slums, ordering rehabilitation.

When the 2015 polls returned AAP to power with virtually a full house, Jung administered the oath of office to Kejriwal for the second time at Ramlila Maidan. All illusions of a popular government heading for a comfortable phase of governance with the cooperation of the Centre disappeared soon enough. With its overwhelming superiority in the assembly , the state government sought to free itself of central oversight and to reinterpret the role of the LG under the NCT Act.

In the battle of wits that ensued, the LG held his ground, insisting he was the constitutional authority of Delhi.But the squabble turned bitter, with the state blaming both the centre and the LG, as the centre's agent, with blocking development in the capital.The constitutional primacy of the LG was underlined by Delhi high court on August 4 this year. The battle may not have ended, but with the Supreme Court still to deliver its verdict, Jung, without conceding defeat, chose to step down and focus on his “first love“ of academics.

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