Najeeb Jung's exit means Arvind Kejriwal has run out of excuses, he has no option but to deliver

It does stretch the imagination a bit to believe the Muse flitted in through the lieutenant governor's open window, alighted on his shoulder, and whispered, "Hey, remember your first love, academics. What are you doing here, surrounded by super luxury and perks and privileges with another 18 months of this hazardous posting to go? Off to the groves of academe with you!"

But doesn't it look scripted? Najeeb Jung suddenly has this epiphany to write books, which of course, he could from his office as well, since governors per se have very little work and serve more as head gardeners and caretakers to maintain some lovely lawns and buildings, all of which should have been turned into public spaces decades ago. But the redundancy of gubernatorial splendor is another story, so let's stick to Jung's departure.

 Najeeb Jungs exit means Arvind Kejriwal has run out of excuses, he has no option but to deliver

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal (left) and Najeeb Jung never got along well. PTI

The suspicion that he has been sacrificed increases exponentially when you suddenly find his nemesis Arvind Kejriwal tweeting him notes of warmth and good wishes like they were bosom pals. And if that was not bad enough, the two even shared bread and breakfast. And if even that does not get your antenna going, what does! Pass the butter, Arvind, and here, have a poached egg.

Meanwhile, the government freezes the lieutenant governor's resignation and holds it in abeyance, whatever that bit of gobbledygook means. This is all like an orchestrated "next move" show, to prove that there is no great sinister element to the whole thing and good offices will be used to urge the Jung to reconsider his decision.

But look at the facts: Here is a guy who is saying he doesn't want the job. That he did not want it for a long time. That he only hung in there as a courtesy to the prime minister. If all this is true, why not just let him go, what is the percentage in making him change his mind?

Since there is no material I could reference, and no earlier efforts to quit, one just has to accept the Jung's word for it — that he doesn't want to be surrounded by dozens of servants and minions, move in cavalcades, eat off silver cutlery and have breast-plated stewards serving him tea.

What makes it peculiar though is the sudden spurt of graciousness from Kejriwal. Could it be possible that some sort of peace has been made between the Centre and the state government, to accommodate each other and end the Battle of the Babble? If Kejriwal is being so generous, you have to be concerned that it is unrealistic. He has got his way and will now turn into a tamed pussycat, as he and BJP march onwards into UP and Punjab munching from the same sandwich.

But wait a minute. It could a Pyrrhic victory. With no combatant, Kejriwal's quixotic jousting will lose its value. You cannot make news by shadow boxing, and if indeed he has colluded in this arrangement, he may well regret it. What could be more boring than Kejriwal on his own, without enemies to blame, without conspiracies to point out, with an empty bag of excuses?

By losing Jung, Kejriwal may now have to deliver on all his promises and make the capital a better place to live in. It might well be that the lieutenant governor does have the last laugh, as he writes his memoirs under an old oak tree.

Updated Date: Dec 24, 2016 16:29:17 IST