Why Has Lt Governor Najeeb Jung Resigned?
NEW DELHI: Why did Lt Governor Najeeb Jung resign? Did he resign or was he made to resign? In other words, was he sacked? Why?
Delhi’s political grapevine has been buzzing since this afternoon when Lt Governor Jung went to his office, wrote the resignation letter, and rushed it off to the powers that be. After working in close collusion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP to squeeze Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government in the state, this seemsed to be it. Sudden and dramatic. Mr Jung is gone.
No one has any idea of what came in the way of the happy PM-Jung relationship. But that does not stop the political speculation that often hovers somewhere around the truth.
A few days---may be just 2 or 3--- ago Lt Governor Jung wrote to the Union Home Ministry informing the authorities that he will be on leave from Christmas day till early January. He said he would be going to Goa to spend time with his family. Two or so days later he was in his office dashing off a resignation letter.
Was the leave denied? Was he upset as a result? Unlikely as given his recent record the Lt Governor would have given up on the leave if asked to. Without demur. But the leave letter confirms that he had had no intention of resigning till a couple of days ago, and the circumstances pushing him to it were sudden and perhaps---when the details are known---even dramatic.
A former employee of Reliance industries Mukesh Ambani, Delhi’s Lt Governor was seen to be in the running for the Vice President of India, with the new incumbent to be selected mid 2017. Popular political wisdom placed Lt Gov Jung as one of those pressing for the same, and ‘under consideration’ given his supposed rapport with the PM and with the industrialists who matter today. Seen as a highly ambitious individual, the Lt Governor was certainly not expected to resign after spending long months in following orders to impose almost continuous hurdles in the way of the Delhi government that led to a bitter war of words, and tensions between the CM and Lt Governors offices.
The speculation that seems to be taking some hold in Opposition circles at least is that the PM is seriously hassled about the allegations being thrown at him of corruption, arising from the Sahara and Birla papers case that is currently in court. The allegations were raised by lawyer Prashant Bhushan, repeated at length by Kejriwal with the papers being placed on the floor of the Delhi Assembly and are now being taken across Uttar Pradesh in his campaign by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. This Opposition leaders insisted has “irked” the PM no end, as is indicative from his references to the same.
A senior Congress leader pointed out that the PM had mocked at Rahul Gandhi but not said a word about the charges. Gandhi, speaking at a rally in UP today, said the same. The Prime Minister, he told the rally, had mocked the person (himself) for bringing the facts out, but “Modiji has not denied the facts.” The Congress scion said that the youth and the poor of India wanted answers to the question, and that “you can mock me but you will have to answer them.”
A senior Opposition MP speculated, “ well maybe he was asked to do something that even he could not, who knows”. But then was quick to add that this was all speculation and it was difficult to know exactly why the Lt Governor had resigned.
But as a senior leader said, “something big must have happened, otherwise there was no indication at all of any differences between the central government and the Lt Governor.” Was he asked to do something that even he could not justify?
The Aam Aadmi Party, sources said, certainly had not got any whiff of differences between Jung and the central government. And all spoken to were agreed that the reasons had to be substantial and complelling enough to elicit a resignation from the Lt Governor whom Kejriwal had once charged with “scampering” to answer even BJP President Amit Shah’s commands.