MUMBAI: Uttar Pradesh Governor-designate Ram Naik on Monday sought to play down the anti-north sentiments in Maharashtra by pointing towards the long-lasting cordial relations between the two states.
A veteran, Naik gave example of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s coronation ceremony in 1670 to prove his point. “When the local people in Maharashtra had refused to perform Maharaj’s (Shivaji) coronation Gaga Bhatt, a Bhrahmin from Kashi, had arrived here happily to perform the rituals. The people from both the states have accepted each other,” he said.
Naik, a former Petroleum Minister, said that his priority will be building a bridge of confidence between the Union government and state government. He, however, refused to comment on the deteriorating law and order situation in UP. “I will get information about it when I reach there,” he said.
On his last day as an active BJP member, Naik on Monday completed an assignment the party had given him. He called on Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath here and demanded to extend the deadline by one month for new enrolment on the voters’ list.
Naik is expected to leave for Lucknow on Wednesday to take oath of office. His appointment has made the BJP workers here happy. They said that the appointment showed that a loyalist always gets his dues. “Now, no one can complain that the BJP ignored ‘Ram’ in UP,” a worker said in a lighter vein.