Aziz Qureshi was on Friday administered the oath of office as Mizoram’s 15th Governor – and the sixth in as many months – by Gauhati High Court judge Justice Michael Zothankuma Pachuau.
The 74-year-old Qureshi, who has taken the Narendra Modi government to the Supreme Court over the serial transfer and ousters of Governors appointed by the previous UPA government, told the media after the swearing-in ceremony he does not consider the state a “dumping ground” and intends to stay for the remainder of his term, which ends 2017.
“It depends on the Government of India but I have come with every intention to stay here. I don’t treat Mizoram as a dumping ground. I have come here wilfully with the intention to share the sorrows and sufferings, achievements, efforts and ethos and culture of Mizoram. I will try to render every possible cooperation and help for the development, progress, peace and prosperity of Mizoram,” Qureshi told journalists.
Asked if he considers his new job a punishment, he replied, “Not at all. Why is this a punishment? Isn’t it a part of India? Such a beautiful land, the hills, the greenery, how can it be a punishment to come here?”
When asked about the petition he filed in the SC, the former Congress MP said, “The case is pending and I do not want to comment on this. A constitution bench has been formed which will decide.”
Mizoram has been caught in an apparent scuffle between UPA-appointed Governors and the Modi government, with Qureshi becoming the sixth person to be appointed its Governor within six months.
Some of his predecessors such as Kamla Beniwal have either been fired after being transferred to the state, while some such as K Sankaranarayanan have simply refused to accept the transfer, prompting some to doubt Qureshi would even accept the transfer.
The transfers to Mizoram have been largely considered as the NDA’s move to force Governors who refuse to quit out of office. Politicians and civil society leaders have long said the state is being used as a “dumping ground”.