Amid allegations from a senior minister in Akhilesh Yadav government that he has converted Raj Bhavan into a BJP office, Governor Ram Naik said on Wednesday that he had quit the political party the day he accepted the gubernatorial post, though he still “belongs to the RSS” but that has not affected his functioning in any way.
“I belong to the RSS but it does not affect (my functioning as Governor). However, I no longer belong to BJP. I had resigned from its membership and all its posts before taking oath as Governor,” said Ram Naik.
Senior Samajwadi Party leader and Cabinet minister Azam Khan had on several occasion charged that the Governor was “acting like a political activist” at the “behest of the BJP” and has converted Raj Bhavan into a BJP office.
On a specific query on the issue, Naik said: “Azam Khan is a senior minister in the government. I see him as an exception and do not want to give any statement about him.”
Naik, who completed one year as UP Governor, was talking to reporters after releasing a book, “Raj Bhavan mein Ram Naik 2014-15”. The book, presented in the form of a report card, gives an account of all works undertaken by him as the Governor and also explains in detail all the issues, which were seen as a face-off between the Raj Bhavan and the government.
Citing an example, he referred to the nomination to the Legislative Council, where he cleared only four out of nine names recommended by the government and sought more information on remaining five.
“Objections were raised over some names in the list… generally the tradition has been that Raj Bhavan approves the names sent by the government… There are laws but Constitution is above law. Constitution is supreme and it is my duty to see that it is followed in letter and spirit,” he said.
Sources informed that Governor has sought details about businessman Sanjay Seth, whose name was in the list, directly from Income Tax department. The I-T sleuths had conducted raids at Seth’s offices in Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai recently.
Asked about the recent reports of Samajwadi Party government appointing officers of a particular community on prime posts across the state, Governor said he would seek information from the government about such allegations.
Naik also expressed anguish over the fact that neither Chief Minister Akhilesh Nadav nor Leader of Opposition bothered to reply or acknowledge his letter regarding appointment of Lokayukta. “I had written to chief minister, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court for appointment of Lokayukta. While Chief Justice sent the acknowledgment of the letter, the other two did not even bother to acknowledge that they have received it,” Naik said, adding, “Now it is to be seen how the government responds in the court, where the hearing is due on Thursday”.
The government has to make its stand clear on the action it has taken to appoint Lokayukta, he said.
Naik said it “pains me to see that government has not responded to 20 reports of Lokayukta, which are long pending”.
Asked whether he is satisfied with the working of Akhilesh Yadav government, Naik said, “It is not on me to rate or rank the government. However, whether public is satisfied with the government or not would become clear in the times to come”.
Governor also expressed concern over the fact that after he raised objection to an ordinance seeking Cabinet minister rank for chairman of minority commission, the state government came out with a Bill for the same. “I will examine the Bill also in the similar way,” he said.
He again clarified that in past one year, he worked within the constitutional boundaries and spoke within the constitutional parameters.