Najeeb Jung met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday and hailed him as a "visionary" and an "exceptional" person who "wants to take the minorities along." This comes a day after 65-year-old Jung resigned as the Lieutenant-Governor (L-G) of Delhi saying that he would return to academics.
Jung said that he was "completely convinced" of the prime minister's "secular values as far as Hindu-Muslim relations are concerned... I believe he wants to take the minorities along," the former L-G told the Indian Express (IE).
"It has been an honour for me to have worked with a visionary person like the Prime Minister. The cooperation and advice that I have received from him is immense and I wish to thank him," Jung added.
The former vice-chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia seemed unhappy with the AAP government in Delhi and said that he had "distinct disagreements" with the Arvind Kejriwal-led political party.
The IE quoted sources close to him as saying that Jung was "sad and fed up" with the "manner in which the AAP government was attacking him on daily basis and that was also one of the reasons behind his resignation."
Jung also revealed that he had offered to resign twice in the past, but was asked by the prime minister to continue as the L-G. However, he added that he would not reconsider or change his decision this time.
"No. I need a break. I have to get my moorings back," Jung said.
"In 2014, when PM Modi was sworn in, I met him and requested him that since I was a Congress appointee, I would like to resign. PM said no, please continue. This July when I finished three years in office, I called the PM again to congratulate and expressed my desire to leave. PM again asked me to continue. Two days back, I spoke to the PM and expressed my desire yet again. This time PM told me to go ahead. I resigned within a few hours," Jung told India Today.
Jung dismissed reports of being under any kind of political pressure from the Centre and said that no one had, during his tenure, cooperated with him or guided him as much as PM Modi did.
"He (Modi) is an exceptional man. It has been an honour to work with such an exception person. I received unstinted, undiluted support from him whenever I sought it. I have been in the system for 35 years and never received such support," Jung said.
"I have not felt any pressure from the Centre... And I have had distinct disagreements with the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCTD)... There is no tussle between the Centre and the Delhi government. Delhi government wishes to interpret the Constitution in its own way and I have to uphold what is the correct version of the Constitution. The central government has never interfered or advised on Centre-GNCTD relations... The Administrator is the representative of the Union Government and, therefore, the decision to interact with the GNCTD, which is the Council of Ministers, is left to the Administrator," Jung added.
Jung refused to give details of his meeting with PM Modi saying that it was a "private conversation, which will not go beyond me. The conversation between the Prime Minister and the L-G are a completely sacred conversation, which should not go out."
Jung, who has always had a tussle with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his government, had a breakfast meeting with the latter that lasted an hour. According to media reports, they spoke about their two-year association besides discussing other issues.
Kejriwal told the media that the two of them reminisced their "bitter-sweet memories" at the meeting and that Jung had "resigned due to personal reasons."