Anil Baijal on Saturday took oath as the Lieutenant Governor or Delhi, replacing Najeeb Jung, who quit the post following a shock resignation last week.
On being asked about his relationship with the AAP government after taking oath, he said, “This is a speculative thing and I don’t know how the relationship will improve.”
“We will sit together and talk,” he said and also thanked President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving him the responsibility of the Lt Governor.
“Delhi is a megapolis city which has several problems like women safety, law and order, huge population, infrastructure, civic agencies and congestion.
“We all know these problems. We will sit together and work to solve them,” he told reporters.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was present when the 70-year-old Baijal was administered oath of office by the High Court chief Justice G Rohini at Raj Niwas.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and New Delhi MP Meenakshi Lekhi attended 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 and is known to be well versed with the city administration.
Baijal 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.
Jung and AAP dispensation had clashed over a range of issues including transfer and posting of bureaucrats, setting up of enquiry commissions and among others.
There was a running battle between L-G office and Kejriwal government with the latter constantly challenging the former’s supremacy in the city administration.
Jung had won the court battle as the Delhi High Court had stamped the primacy of Lt Governor in the affairs of Government of NCT.
However, AAP government had approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court verdict and during a recent hearing in the case, the apex court had said the elected government should have some powers.
(With agencies inputs)