Veteran BJP leader Ram Naik today said that the party leadership had approached him to accept the post of Governor of Uttar Pradesh, to which he agreed. "I was asked by my party to accept the position of the Governor of UP and I said yes. It is a challenging job and I am accustomed to doing challenging jobs," Naik said. He, however, added that he is yet to receive an official order on the appointment.
If appointed, Naik will replace B L Joshi, who demitted the office after the NDA government decided to replace the Governors appointed during the previous UPA government's tenure.
The former petroleum minister said he has had a "stellar" political record over the last several decades and he will continue to work in accordance to the party's wishes. "They (the party leadership) had said they will decide about me at an appropriate time. That appropriate time has come. When I contested elections in 1999, I was elected with the highest vote margin in the state. This has been my political record. I will continue to do work as desired by my party," the 80-year-old leader said.
When asked to comment on the "hasty" removal of Governors appointed by Congress in several states by the BJP-led government, Naik said, "Governors appointed by Congress should have resigned when the government changed, which has been the practice all along...when the government changes, the Governors and even members of Planning Commission appointed by previous government resign because they are political appointments," he said.
Naik, a member of the BJP's National Executive Committee, was appointed the national convener of "good governance cell" of the party, after he decided not to contest 2014 Lok Sabha elections. He also has a record of getting elected successively for five terms in the Lok Sabha.