After the resignation of Najeeb Jung as Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor centre is likely to replace him with Kiran Bedi who is right now the Lt Governor of Puducherry. Since Bedi possess enough administrative experience she is the right candidate who can succeed him. By appointing Bedi, BJP wants to keep a check on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who was involved in a tug of war with Najeeb Jung over jurisdictional issues. According to sources, Bedi is the right candidate for the job as she is well aware about Kejrwal’s psychology and had already worked with him as a member of Team Anna. Moreover, BJP is keen to defuse the tension by inducting Bedi as she can amicably resolve any issue with Kejriwal. Bedi had unsuccessfully led the BJP’s campaign in Delhi assembly poll in February last year, when the party was reduced to just three seats in the assembly. Bedi too had suffered a humiliating defeat.
According to sources, “BJP led centre is likely to appoint Kiran Bedi as a successor of Najeeb Jung. Since Kiran has worked with Kejriwal hence she is aware about his mode of functioning. She is an able candidate who can take over the reins from Jung. Bedi also possess good communication skills as she could broker peace with Kejriwal.”
“There has been a tiff between Najeeb Jung and Delhi Chief Minister pertaining to various issues. Kejriwal used to blame Jung for creating hindrance in the functioning of the Delhi government. If Kiran Bedi replaces Jung then she can manage the function of Lt Governor amicably as she possess good administerial skills,” said another source.
Kiran Bedi was earlier a part of Team Anna spearheaded by veteran social activist Anna Hazare. She along with Arvind Kejriwal had taken part in the Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption. However there was a split in Team Anna as Kejrwal and Bedi joined active politics thereby stalling Anna’s movement.
There was a huge tussle between Arvind Kejriwal and Najeeb Jung pertaining to areas of jurisdiction. Kejriwal has been demanding full statehood for Delhi but the centre has turned a blind towards his request. In August, the Delhi High Court ruled that the Lt Governor is indeed the government in Delhi. The high court verdict had inspired Jung to constitute a three-member panel to examine 400 files pertaining to executive decisions that were taken without his approval. Jung also had overturned several decisions taken by Kejriwal pertaining to regularising the employment of 15,000 temporary teachers; raising the land acquisition compensation in Delhi from the present Rs 54 lakhs per acre to the prevailing market price of Rs 3 crore. Kejriwal had alleged that Jung is the agent of BJP which rules the centre.
On the other hand, a BJP leader spoke on the condition of anonymity and said, “We are also considering the names of other candidates for this post. Right now no decision has been taken in this regard and Najeeb Jung’s successor will be appointed after a meeting held by senior leaders.”
Kejriwal tweeted minutes after news of Jung’s resignation broke: “Jung’s resignation is a surprise to me. My best wishes in all his future endeavours.”
Meanwhile after resignation Jung will be returning to academics. He had submitted his resignation to the Government of India. He had resigned one-and-a-half years before his tenure which will end in 2018. A former IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre and a former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, Jung offered no explanation for his sudden decision to step down.