New Delhi: Former bureaucrat Anil Baijal today took over as 20th Lt Governor of Delhi and struck a cautious note on where the LG's office will stand in repairing the fractured relationship between the Centre and AAP government which had hit rock bottom under his predecessor.
70-year-old Baijal, who had served in a number of key positions at the Centre including as Union Home Secretary, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chief Justice of Delhi High Court G Rohini, 10 days after Najeeb Jung's abrupt resignation as the LG.
Baijal said addressing key challenges like women's safety, pollution, traffic congestion and strengthening infrastructure will be his priority areas.
The oath ceremony was attended by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Delhi Chief Secretary MM Kutty, leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta among others.
On being asked about tussle between previous LG Jung and the city government on a range of issues including administrative control over the bureaucracy, Baijal said, "This is speculative. I don't know why and how the relationship will improve. We will sit and talk and then you will get to know."
Welcoming Baijal's appointment, Kejriwal said he was hopeful that under the new LG, governance in the national capital will see new momentum overcoming the past hurdles.
"I am very hopeful that in the future, we all - MLAs, Delhi government, people of Delhi - will work with the Lt Governor for overall development of Delhi.
"In the last few months, some works of Delhi government have come to a standstill. I hope that these works will be expedited," Kejriwal said at an event at Delhi Assembly complex.
Baijal said he will put his best efforts in improving law-and-order situation, women's safety, traffic congestion besides strengthening infrastructure and civic amenities in the city.
"Delhi is a megapolis which has several problems like women safety, law and order, huge population, infrastructure, civic agencies and congestion. We all know about these problems. We will work with elected government to solve them," he told reporters.