Najeeb Jung on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after springing a surprise by tendering resignation as Delhi’s Lt Governor even as he said that he had wanted to quit earlier but was asked by the PM to continue.
Jung reached the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) at South Block in New Delhi around 11.30am and spent a little over an hour inside. Sources said it was a courtesy meeting. Yesterday, in his brief resignation statement, Jung had thanked Modi for his help and cooperation.
Rejecting speculation that he quit as pressure was mounting on him, Jung was quoted as saying that there is no politics behind his decision and that he wanted to quit earlier as well.
“I had offered to resign as I had been appointed by the previous UPA government, but the PM asked me to carry on. After three years, I requested the PM to relieve me but he asked me to carry on,” he said.
“After three and a half years, I requested the PM again on Tuesday that I would like to resign on personal grounds,” Jung was quoted as saying. He also said that he would like to write a book.
Over the last two years, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has time and again taken on Jung over his perceived closeness to Modi.
Earlier in the day, Kejriwal had an hour-long meeting with Jung over breakfast during which the latter reminisced their nearly two-year-long association in governing the city besides discussing other issues.
The Delhi chief minister said he was invited by the Lt Governor for the breakfast meeting that came a day after Jung’s sudden resignation from the post. Sources said Jung and Kejriwal spoke about the bitter- sweet times and spent some light moments. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia also called on Jung.
Asked why Jung quit, Kejriwal said, “He resigned due to personal reasons.” Though publicly Kejriwal had made stinging attacks on Jung on many occasions, both of them are known to share a cordial relationship at personal level.
Asked about his meeting with Jung, Sisodia said, “We had a very good chat. He shared memories of the last two years and also of his days as a bureaucrat. He said that he was mulling quitting over the last one year. He wants to spend time with his family and focus on academics. He said that he could not quit due to things like chikungunya (outbreak in the city).”
Sisodia said he shared a “good rapport” with Jung and thanked him for his cooperation especially in areas of education. “We will work for the people if Delhi irrespective of circumstances be that easy or tough.”
On who could be next LG of Delhi, the deputy chief minister said many names are doing the rounds but nothing official has come up.
Sources close to Jung had said yesterday his resignation has nothing to do with his acrimonious relationship with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government over matters of jurisdiction and he was contemplating to quit for last few months. The chief minister was in Ranchi yesterday when the news of Jung’s resignation broke.