I have tried to work with the people, introspected and presented report cards: Ram Naik
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I have tried to work with the people, introspected and presented report cards: Ram Naik

Governor Ram Naik, who will complete four years in office on July 22, has been giving his report card annually and he will do so this year too.

lucknow Updated: Jul 19, 2018 14:54 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Ram Naik,Governor,Uttar Pradesh
“My duty is to watch how the state government is functioning. I have many good experiences and no bitter experience.”(HT Photo)

Governor Ram Naik, who will complete four years in office on July 22, has been giving his report card annually and he will do so this year too.

In an interview with Umesh Raghuvanshi, the governor spoke about his experiences in Raj Bhawan, his mantra and his take on the law and order situation and a weak opposition. Excerpts:

Your take as the state’s governor?

I am completing four years as governor. This is a new chapter in my life as this is not an office that comes from electoral politics. The governor has to work as a representative of the President of India and acts as a bridge between the Centre and state.

Are you satisfied?

I have tried to put in my best efforts. I have done so with whatever work given to me. I am satisfied with my work. I have tried to work with the people and show to people that the governor can work in this manner too. I have tried to do introspection and presented a report card every year. I have been doing so since 1978.

What’s your mantra?

Smile, appreciate, don’t belittle others and there is always a better way of doing things.

Any good or bitter experiences here?

My duty is to watch how the state government is functioning. I have many good experiences and no bitter experience.

Will you share an important experience?

I will mention the Bansagar canal project that Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated on Sunday. The project started in 1970 and was to be completed in 10 years. Its cost went up from Rs 340 crore to Rs 3,420 crore. The farmers remained deprived of irrigation facilities for long. Joint efforts of the Centre and the Yogi Adityanath government have led to completion of the project now. I think successive governments in the past should have paid more attention. UP has lagged behind because of such delays.

What is the difference between this government and the previous one?

There is a difference in the style of functioning of the two governments. I have had very good relations with both Akhilesh Yadav and Yogi Adityanath. I have no complaints against them. I had spoken to both of them about the need to have Uttar Pradesh Foundation Day. I did not write only letters about this. I took up this issue personally with both of them. The previous government did not act on my suggestion. The Yogi Adityanath government did and UP has got its own foundation day now.

What about the law and order situation in UP?

There are two components of law and order. One is individual crime, or small crime, while the other is organised crime. There are incidents of small crime but overall the law and order situation has improved.

Your major achievement?

A feeling has developed that UP has a people’s governor. I have had an affectionate relationship with the people from all walks of life. I don’t say that the issues of everybody, who meets me, are resolved. But people feel that their point has been heard. So do I. I am able to do something for them. I have met 24,995 persons in the past four years and attended 1421 public programmes in 1457 days. The governor is entitled to avail 20-day leave per year. I have been to Nainital in Uttarakhand and Shimla in Himachal Pradesh, availing only 19 day leave in 2015 and 2016. I have not taken any personal leave in 2017 and 2018.

What about your letter to the CM that created a controversy?

I am in the habit of writing letters to people concerned on the issues that come before me. I send letters to the President, the prime minister and other high dignitaries. I do not verify whether the complaint given to me is right or wrong. I do my job by bringing the issue to the notice of the authorities concerned. The complaint was given to me and I forwarded that to the chief minister. I forward a copy of my letter to the complainant, who gave this to the media. Why did he give the letter to the media? I can’t say. But I did my duty.

What about rewriting history books?

History should remain history. But how to look at history? This changes with the changing times. 1857 was considered to be a mutiny. It was later called the first freedom struggle of India.

Your take on a weak opposition?

It is for the opposition to look at this. Why they are weak? How many have been elected. This can’t be the only indicator of political parties’ strength. This changes because of the situation. The political parties should ensure that that the agenda they are pursuing helps the people.

Should the use of electronic voting machines be stopped?

Counting used to continue for up to two days when ballot papers were being used. The poll results are out now in a few hours. The use of EVMs has been able to check booth capturing as well. The Election Commission has not been given any concrete evidence about tampering of EVMs.

First Published: Jul 19, 2018 13:38 IST