New Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Tuesday said there were many problems in the state but expressed resolve to act as a “bridge” between the Centre and the state
and work towards making UP “uttam pradesh”.
Naik, who was administrated the oath of office by Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court D Y Chandrachud, termed his new assignment as a “big responsibility” and noted that President Pranab Mukherjee gave him a copy of the Constitution, when he had called on him after his appointment, saying that “this would be very useful”.
“There are many problems but I am telling you about my resolve…. I will try to work as a bridge and guard the interests of the common people,” he said after being sworn in as the 28th governor of the key state at an impressive function at Raj Bhawan.
He said there are central schemes like ‘Ganga vikas yojna’ in which the state government needs to contribute while there could also be some problems faced by the state where the Centre needs to support. “I have just arrived here… am telling you my resolve which is to contribute towards making the state ‘uttam pradesh’,” the 80-year-old told reporters while replying to questions.
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Queried on the issue of law and order situation, on which the Samajwadi Party Government in the state has come under attack, and the reported criticism from him in the past, Naik said he will “work to win over the trust of all” The governor said he had stated that law and order was a question in the country as was education and unemployment. “Centre and state would do what they have to do as per their responsibilities and I would act as a bridge.
“It is not in my nature to say things without having full information…. I will work to win over the trust of all,” he said, and assured that he would act as per the Constitution.
A three-time Parliamentarian, Naik was a minister in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. He has the rare distinction of being the only minister who completed five years as Petroleum and Natural gas minister in one government.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, several ministers, MLAs, senior bureaucrats and senior officers from police department were present at the Raj Bhawan ceremony. The veteran BJP leader succeeds BL Joshi, who resigned last month. Joshi, perceived to be a close confidant of Gandhi family, was the first Governor who tendered his resignation on June 17 after the Narendra Modi government came to power.
Hit by cancer, Naik was bedridden in 1994 but fought back resolutely and overcame the deadly disease. He had announced in 2013 that he would not be contesting the 2014 elections. To a question on incidents of north Indians being assaulted in his native Maharashtra, Naik said the situation is not as serious as it looks from outside.
“Though there is a party Maharashtra Navnirma Sena (MNS) and its leader Raj Thackeray who are trying to do so, all their candidates have lost deposit in the recent Lok Sabha polls and their support base has come down. However, they have the strength to indulge in some vandalism,” Naik said.
When asked whether he would continue with the tradition set by acting governor Aziz Qureshi of throwing open the gates of the Raj Bhawan for common people, he said that “my work is not administrative…that is the work of the elected representatives… but yes I will establish contact with people for getting information”.
The new governor said that the state has the maximum number of 24 state universities besides other central and deemed ones and he would work to see that the standard of education which is going down is improved.
“Language is not for creating rifts…these are the days not to fight over caste or language but to take everyone along,” he said. When asked whether he would review Qureshi’s decision on granting minority status to Jauhar University in Rampur on which BJP is demanding a relook, he said, “New governments review the decision of previous governments but not the governors… now it has become a law and for deciding whether the decision was right or not, there is the judiciary”.