President Pranab Mukherjee today asked Governors to ensure that state governments act according to the Constitution while safeguarding the interests of the state and the nation's pluralistic character is not tarnished in any manner.
Mukherjee's comments come at a time when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's ambitious 'Jan Lokpal' bill is hanging in the balance with Lt Governor Najeeb Jung seeking Union Home Ministry's opinion whether Centre's concurrence is needed before passing any bill.
In his opening remarks at the 45th Conference of Governors at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the President said the role of Governors is that of a bridge between states and the Centre.
"Governors have to ensure that state governments act according to the Constitution while safeguarding the interests of the state. This is the unique responsibility of a Governor as they represent the Centre in the State and the State at the Centre," he said at the conference which is being attended by 26 Governors and three Lt Governors.
The two-day conference, attended among others by Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P Chidambaram, will discuss external and internal security environment, development issues, improving the quality of higher education and making disaster management more effective.
Calling upon the Governors to remain "alert" and ensure that the coming general elections are peaceful and conducive to free expression of the will of the people, Mukherhee said Governors must also ensure that the pluralistic character of our nation is not tarnished in any manner.
The President said the Group of Governors, constituted last year to deliberate on various issues such as the role of Governors, had submitted its report with invaluable suggestions that would serve as usful inputs for policy makers.