Punjab governor-cum-UT administrator Shivraj Patil (79) is known to be a man of few cautious words. However, in what was probably his last media interaction before his term ends on January 21, Patil exhibited a more relaxed and witty side to his persona. At the launch of a 200 KwP roof-top solar power plant at the Indian Reserve Batallion campus in Sarangpur on Thursday, Patil, immaculately dressed in a formal black suit, was not wearing his usual solemn expression. While admitting to feeling lonely in the city, Patil had witty riposte to all queries thrown at him, perhaps, in a mood to bid adieu to the Raj Bhawan in a cheerful mood. He managed to tickle the funny bone with his quips and light-hearted counter-questions when asked for his views on the drugs issue in Punjab, the imposition of house tax in the city or failure to bring the Metro project to Chandigarh.
On Chandigarh as model city
I have no information that Chandigarh has been picked to be transformed to a model city. If the Centre intends, they must have some plan. There are only a few well-planned cities in India and of them, New Delhi, is the most
well-planned and Chandigarh is number two.
On demitting office
I will demit office, whenever you want me to. If you want me to go immediately, please write to the Centre. I cannot leave the position vacant till my successor takes over.
On revision of house tax
What do you say? Frankly, I will go by public opinion. If the government is giving benefits, it can collect revenue. If the elected leaders will not take a call, then we will take it.
On his regrets
My stay in Chandigarh has been very satisfying. I had a lot of time by myself and very little work to do. Loneliness was my problem. I was alone here with no family members by my side.
Project close to heart
In 50 years of politics, I have seen that all ideas and plans are never completed. I regret that I could not get metro project on track.