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Rajeswar: A Governor the Opposition loves to hate

Once again,Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeswar has become the target of the biggest Opposition party in the state — the Samajwadi Party — which called him “an agent of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party....

Written by Alka Pande | Lucknow | Published: February 12, 2009 11:35 pm

Once again,Uttar Pradesh Governor T V Rajeswar has become the target of the biggest Opposition party in the state — the Samajwadi Party — which called him “an agent of the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)”.

At the onset of the budget session of the Assembly,which started on February 10,the SP members showed him black flags and threw paper balls at him. The party’s national president Mulayam Singh Yadav went a step ahead and alleged that the Governor might work as a bridge between the BSP and the Congress for some post-poll alliance.

Rajeswar had been more or less in good terms with the BSP-led government in UP. No sooner than the party came to power in UP,Rajeswar had arranged a meeting between Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Mayawati. He removed the Chief Information Commissioner of UP on a complaint from the state government’s Chief Secretary.

None of the Bills sent to the Governor in Mayawati’s regime was returned to the government without His Excellency’s signature. The relationship has been cordial except when on September 25,2008,the Governor criticised the state governments over the years for frequent transfers of bureaucrats. Underlining the example of a district magistrate who had been transferred 27 times in his 10- year service,Rajeswar had said: “The Mayawati government is no less than the Mulayam government.” That was the only time when Rajeswar used strong words for the BSP government,although he was at loggerheads with the previous SP government led by Mulayam.

The face-off between the two (Rajeswar and Mulayam) had become so bad that Rajeswar once called the Mulayam government “unconstitutional”. Rajeswar is the first ever IPS officer in the country to hold a consitutional post of Governor. He joined the IPS in 1949 and was posted in the erstwhile Hyderabad state. In 1962,he joined the Intelligence Bureau as Assistant Director and served in Sikkim and Bhutan during 1963-67 as Officer Special Duty (OSD) and Advisor,respectively.

After serving as Deputy Director and Joint Director at the IB headquarters for over a decade,Rajeswar was promoted as IB Director in February 1980 and held the post for three years. He became the first IPS officer to hold a constitutional post when he was posted as Lt Governor of Arunachal Pradesh in August 1983.

In July 2004,the UPA Government appointed Rajeswar as the Governor of UP,replacing Vishnu Kant Shastri.

Rajeswar as Governor of UP played a tough role during the Mulayam rule. Whether it was the issue of the Maulana Ali Jauhar University or rechristening of the Lucknow University as Chandra Bhanu Gupta University,Rajeswar put his foot down,restricting the Mulayam Government from going ahead with its decisions.

Rajeswar pointed out a rampant “gun culture” in UP and castigated the state police for their illegal activities in connection with “land and house grabbing”. He said,“Anarchy prevailed in UP during the last four years. The people’s verdict was ridiculed by forming an unconstitutional government after splitting political parties.”

Referring to the commercial featuring cine star Amitabh Bachchan,in which he praised the Mulayam government for its law and order,Rajeswar had said that “an insult was inflicted on the people by putting a crude joke,by advertising that there was less crime in UP”.

In July 2006,Rajeswar had taken a serious note of the Mulayam Government’s stand on SIMI,which held that it was not a terrorist outfit. Rajeswar had dashed off a letter to Mulayam asking him to reconsider his government’s decision to withdraw cases against SIMI activists involved in the 2001 Kanpur riots. He had also asked Mulayam to allow the police a “free hand”,while investigating SIMI’s role in the Mumbai train blasts.

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