Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah on Friday brushed aside rumours about his unhappiness over relatively low profile being handed over to him saying the ministry was a big challenge.
Within minutes of his taking over, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and his son Omar Abdullah was the first official visitor, who asked him to take the electrification of remaining areas of the state by setting up small hydel projects less than 25 Mega Watts.
The 72-year-old Abdullah, while brushing aside notion about getting a low profile ministry, said "this ministry is a big challenge and I take this challenge head on. I am happy that I have been entrusted with the job which ultimately benefits our future generation."
When asked whether he had any grouse for not getting bigger portfolios like tourism or health for which his name was in the running, Abdullah told reporters after taking charge of the ministry, that "No profile is big or small. It is just a perception of people. I think I am small for New and Renewable Energy Ministry. This portfolio is bigger than me."
On Congress President Sonia Gandhi's 'Perform or Perish' slogan, he said "India cannot tolerate non-performers. If one does not perform, he or she should quit before being kicked out."
"Its a great responsibility for me, particularly when climate change is a global issue. I think, I can make a meaningful contribution in furthering India's share of renewable energy," Abdullah said.
He said he would strive for harnessing solar energy and tapping the vast potential of wind energy, particularly on coasts.
Abdullah said his priority would be to create awareness about the ministry among people and states and offer them every possible help in adapting the non-conventional energy sources.
"The first and foremost thing is to create awareness about the ministry because people don't know much. That is probably the reason that people think that I got a small ministry," Abdullah said.
"I will go to each and every state and tell them what this ministry is all about and what help we can offer to promote non-conventional energy sources," Abdullah said.
After his first official engagement with his son, he said, "My Ministry looks at hydel projects smaller than 25 MW. I have no doubts this will be beneficial to states like mine, hilly states and northeast."
"I also plan to explore Geo-thermal energy in areas like Ladakh."