New Delhi: Delhi's Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, who was locked in a running battle with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Thursday resigned and said he will return to academics, "my first love".
In a brief statement, Jung, 66, thanked both Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kejriwal for their association with him.
"He thanks the Prime Minister for all help and cooperation he received during his tenure as the Lt. Governor," the statement said.
Jung became the Lt Governor on July 9, 2013 when a Congress-led coalition was in office. The Modi government retained him even as it replaced most Governors in the states.
"He also thanks the Chief Minister of Delhi for his association in the last two years," the statement said.
Jung thanked the people of Delhi too for "their support and affection, especially during the one year's President Rule" leading to the assembly elections that led to a AAP victory in February 2015.
A former IAS officer from the Madhya Pradesh cadre and a former Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi, Jung gave no reason for his sudden decision to step down.
Jung's tenure was marked by a sharp escalation in tensions between his office, which reported to the central government, and the AAP government of Kejriwal.
What began as a turf war turned into an often nasty confrontation between Jung and Kejriwal over who is the boss in Delhi, which, although a state, does not enjoy parity with other states.
The central government, through the Lt Governor, controls Delhi Police, law and order and issues related to land in the capital.
The recurring Jung-Kejriwal battle was decided in favour of the former on August 4 by the Delhi High Court. The AAP government has moved the Supreme Court, where the matter is yet to be decided.