Medha-baiter made Delhi lieutenant governor
Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena has been appointed as lieutenant governor of Delhi in place of former bureaucrat Anil Baijal who resigned last week.
Saxena, 64, is known as a founder of a group that has countered rights activist Medha Patkar and the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) that opposes Gujarat’s Sardar Sarovar Dam. Saxena’s group National Council of Civil Liberties (NCCL) has led demonstrations and outreach programmes in support of the dam, filed cases and issued statements against Patkar and those who have supported her such as actor Aamir Khan.
Baijal quit last week citing personal reasons after almost more than a year of hostilities between the LG and the Aam Aadmi Party-led state government after the Centre passed a law giving primacy to the LG in the power scheme of the capital. The resignation comes at a time the AAP government is at loggerheads with the recently-reunified Municipal Corporation of Delhi over demolition of shops and homes in Delhi.
Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday called Baijal “a very nice man” and assured Saxena of co-operation.
Saxena, a Kanpur University graduate and a trained pilot, came into public life after working for JK Cement in Rajasthan and later as director of Gujarat’s Dholer Port Project. From 2000, his NGO NCCL played a role in neutralising the NBA in Gujarat. AAP was closely associated with the NBA in Madhya Pradesh in the party’s early years.
He became KVIC chairman in 2015 and was given an extension in 2019.
During his tenure, schemes such as Honey Mission, Kumhaar Sashaktikaran Scheme and leather artisans development scheme were implemented.