Former home secretary Anil Baijal will take over as new lieutenant governor of Delhi on Saturday 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, will be administrated oath of office and secrecy as 20th L-G of Delhi by chief justice of Delhi high court G Rohini at Raj Niwas in Civil Lanes area of North Delhi.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his Cabinet colleagues, senior bureaucrats of the Delhi government and a host of invitees are expected to attend 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 L-G 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 L-G 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.