Why Najeeb Jung Quit New Delhi, According To News-Wallahs

We woke up to several theories on the Lieutenant Governor’s resignation. As always, the news story depends on who your source is.

ByKshitij Malhotra
Why Najeeb Jung Quit New Delhi, According To News-Wallahs
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What’s a political resignation if it doesn’t come with its set of speculations and controversies. In a move that caught everyone off guard, Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi, Najeeb Jung, submitted his resignation yesterday, with more than 18 months remaining in his term.

In a statement released by his office, Jung thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “help and cooperation” and “the people of Delhi for all their support and affection, especially during the one year’s President Rule in Delhi”.
Despite having quite an acrimonious relationship with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Jung thanked Kejriwal “for his association in the last two years” in the statement.

However, no reason was given for Jung’s decision, except that he wished to return to his “first love, which is, academics”. Sounds a lot like what a certain Mr Rajan said before he quit his post at the Reserve Bank of India. And we all know how that story wasn’t exactly about a love academia.

A lack of clear — or believable — explanation, however, means that reporters have to find answers, even if the key protagonists remain tight-lipped. Which often means chatting up “sources” close to Jung or “in the know”.

The result is that this morning we woke up to front-page reports with a host of theories on Jung’s exit. All attributed to sources, of course.

The Indian Express

Citing “central government sources,” IE reported that the Centre was not “unhappy” with Jung’s performance and indicated that “the sudden move could be linked to fatigue and the constant bickering with AAP [Aam Aadmi Party]”.

However, other sources told IE that Jung’s decision was “not linked to the running feud with Kejriwal” and he had considered resigning “at least two months ago, after the Delhi High Court reiterated that LG was the administrative head of Delhi”.

IE also reported that Jung’s Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Ajay Chaudhary, told the media that “he [Jung] had been mulling over this for a few months”.

The Times of India

Contradicting IE’s sources that the Central government was not discontented with Jung’s performance as LG, ToI reported that “though Jung’s resignation was unexpected, the Centre had considered seeking a replacement for him when his three-year term ended in June”.
He was, however, allowed to continue as LG, according to ToI.
Jung clarified to ToI that his decision was “purely personal” and he was looking forward to “a different and quiet life with freedom to travel, meet friends, read and go back to teaching”.
Sources “close to Jung” told ToI he was contemplating his resignation for “some time” but it got delayed due to the chikungunya outbreak in Delhi and the immense problems due to rising air pollution faced by the city.
ToI also quoted Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who asked Jung the reason behind his sudden resignation, to which the latter reportedly replied that he was “done” with his role as LG.

Hindustan Times

HT has claimed that Jung’s resignation wasn’t a surprise – “Jung’s fate had been sealed a couple of weeks back and the government was already looking for his successor,” it reported, quoting sources.

All was not possibly well between the Centre and Jung, as HT cited a “government source” who said Jung was finding it “increasingly difficult” to live up to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) administration’s “expectations”. Jung had also expressed his desire to quit to PM Modi some time back, HT reported.

The Hindu

Citing a home ministry source, The Hindu reported that “there was no political pressure on Mr Jung to resign”. The same source speculated that the reason might be “fatigue” or Jung’s urge to “pursue academics again”. Apart from this, the paper didn’t offer any insight into the reasons behind Jung’s departure.

The Pioneer

Jung’s decision to resign may have been a result of pressure from the Home Ministry, according to the Pioneer. Sources told the paper that Jung was “nudged by the Home Ministry to resign” during his meeting with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on Tuesday. Mehrishi, however, said he got to know of Jung’s resignation from the media.

Meanwhile, the award for the best conspiracy theory goes to none other than Congress Delhi State President Ajay Maken.

As an Economic Times journalist, said, Maken may be the only person who believes a deal could be struck between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Kejriwal.

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