Former Union Home Secretary Anil Baijal Saturday took over as the new Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in the backdrop of escalating confrontation between the AAP government and the Centre on a range of contentious issue including control over bureaucracy.
70-year-old Baijal, a 1969 batch IAS officer, was administrated oath of office and secrecy as 20th Lt Governor of Delhi at Raj Niwas in Civil Lanes area of North Delhi. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was present at the oath-taking ceremony.
Baijal, who had served as Union Home Secretary under the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government besides holding key positions in several other ministries, will have to find a way out to work with the AAP government which had an acrimonious relation with Najeeb Jung who quit as Lt Governor last week in a surprise move.
Baijal, known to follow the rule book, will have to take a series of important decisions including on the report of Shungulu committee, set up by Jung to examine over 400 files pertaining to decisions taken by the AAP government in the last two years.
The Shungulu committee has reportedly pointed out “irregularities” in some of the Kejriwal Government’s decisions.
Baijal will also have to appoint a new chairman of Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) which has been “headless” since November after the appointment of incumbent Krishna Saini was turned down by Jung.
Baijal, who had retired from service in 2006 as Urban Development Secretary, served as vice chairman of Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and is known to be well versed with the city administration. He was actively associated with the designing and country-wide roll-out of Rs 60,000-crore Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) launched by the Manmohan Singh government.
The former bureaucrat was also on the executive council of the think-tank Vivekananda International Foundation, several of whose former members have been appointed to senior positions by the Modi government including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
(With inputs from the PTI)