Two days before he completes a year in office, UP Governor Ram Naik speaks about his face-off with the SP government. Excerpts:
What are your concerns about law and order in the state?
Two days before I joined office on July 22, 2014, there was a Mohanlalganj rape case that was all over media, just three days back, mother of Sara (wife of Amanmani Tripathi, who was killed in a road accident) met me to share her fears. Sometimes, I wonder what is the position of women in the state and think that it is certainly not very inspiring. There are large number of killings over land disputes. Then, take for example this Noida engineer case, anyone would have understood the seriousness of the corruption charge and need for an investigation, but state government kept on dilly-dallying over it and ultimately court had to order a CBI inquiry. Instead of saying that law and order situation is bad, I would say with a positive approach that it needs to improve. I convey this to the CM from time to time…
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Recently, you cleared only four out of nine names proposed by the government for nomination as MLCs. A senior leader of the ruling party reportedly said that they would rather bring a Bill.
They say that no Governor in the past objected to names proposed by the government for nomination of MLCs. But where does it say that if it was not done in the past then it cannot be done in the future. First of all, I find it hard to accept that in a state with over 21 crore people, government could not find names in the field of art, literature and science to represent in the Upper House. Then, there were hundreds of complaints that I received not only objecting to the proposed names but listing offence committed by them, which were not mentioned in the affidavits submitted to me. I enjoy very good relations with the Chief Minister, but it concerns me that the state government does not follow the Constitution in letter and spirit. It does not affect me at all, if they come with the Bill.
The government has not appointed the Lokayukta for past one year and reportedly plans to remove the clause that requires consent of the Chief Justice of Allahabad HC?
I wrote to the Chief Minister six months back for appointment of the Lokayukta. I also wrote to the Leader of Opposition as well as the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court, reminding them of their joint responsibility to appoint Lokayukta. The presence of a judicial person is necessary to ensure checks and balances. Moreover, it is not just about selection of Lokayukta but about maintaining the sanctity of the institution…
There are four Bills still pending with you.
In past one year, 21 Bills have been passed. While three were on the concurrent list and have gone to the President, out of 18 that came to me, I gave my assent on 14 of them. There are four on which I have not given my assent. These include giving status of minister to Chairman of Minority Commission, Bill regarding Medical University in Saifai making Chief Minister as Chancellor and two other Bills reducing the rights of the corporators and municipalities.
Recently, there have been allegations by an IPS officer and an IAS officer of threats?
While I would not respond to any particular case that is subjudice, the fact remains that every organ of the government must maintain the dignity of the position that they are serving.
Parties allege you work with your RSS background in mind?
I am not here to enhance any party. I am representative of President… People demanded my removal when I spoke about Ram Janmabhoomi but even court refused to take up the petition because I know my Constitutional parameters. I have had an RSS background. I invited Mohan Bhagwat for dinner because he is an old acquaintance but at the same time, I work within my Constitutional parameters and have maintained dignity in my public expressions.