'Let the courts decide who is guilty and what punishment they should get.'
In the final part of his interview with Prasanna D Zore/Rediff.com, former Uttar Pradesh governor Ram Naik backs UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's handling of the law and order situation in India's most populous state.
Were you happy with the way the Yogi Adityanath government handled the encephalitis crisis?
Were you happy with the way the law and order machinery under the UP government handled Kuldeep Singh Sengar (the BJP MLA accused of rape) with kid gloves?
The same applies in the Swami Chinmayanand case now.
Why this special treatment for elected BJP members?
I will only say let the courts decide who is guilty and what punishment they should get.
But the court decides on the basis of investigation conducted by the police, which is under the state government's jurisdiction?
Blaming or punishing is the job of the court.
I am all for justice to the victims of these cases. I am against all such things (rapes and misuse of power by elected representatives). But things cannot be generalised.
Isn't it obvious that the state government is shielding both Sengar and Chinmayanand?
Cases have been given to the CBI (only Sengar's case is being investigated by the CBI). Can these (rape) cases go to the CBI without the chief minister's approval?
Is the state law and order machinery there to protect citizens or elected representatives of the party to which the chief minister belongs?
The state law and order machinery is to protect citizens of the state and there's no doubt about it.
In these two particular (Kuldeep Singh Sengar and Swami Chinmayanand) cases, if they are guilty, they should be punished very hard. But you should not generalise from one example that the situation is so bad in UP. I told you about the way organised crimes have been tackled.
There are allegations of extrajudicial killings against the police.
Anybody can say what they want. But the point is the rule of law prevails in UP. Those who want to make charges can go to court.
Did you raise the encephalitis deaths and the Sengar case with the UP chief minister?
These are altogether different issues.
But they had an impact on the image of the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh.
The way Yogi handled this issue (of spread of encephalitis), in the last two years, there have not been such deaths because medical services have been improved.
Now, if earlier there was some mistake of not doing things properly, the effect will become visible afterwards. But preventive care has been taken and it is for the people of UP to see it.
So, if you look at the last two years results, you feel that something has been done nicely.
Don't you think that the Sengar and Chinmayanand cases have created a negative impression about the chief minister and BJP?
See, these events are not liked by anybody. Nobody can say the BJP is protecting the two accused. Let the court decide.
The media and other political parties should not sit in the chair of the judge. Let the court decision come. But these are really bad events, which are to be condemned in the strongest possible words.
The Shiv Sena is demanding a Bharat Ratna for Veer Savarkar.
I feel the prime minister will definitely look into the request, but when to do it is anybody's guess.
Let me assert that Savarkar has been great and Savarkar will remain great with the title as well.
The way he has sacrificed for the country, earlier Congress governments have neglected him. I would say neglected is a mild word, earlier governments have criminally neglected his working.
But Savarkar is being criticised for writing mercy petitions to the British.
Those who don't know what it is in the Andaman (Savarkar was imprisoned in the cellular jail in the Andamans), only they can level such charges. Those who don't read, those who don't know the history of our freedom struggle, they only can say such things.
So under tortuous conditions in the cellular jail in Andamans, it was justified to write mercy petitions.
War is war and he has been fighting against British colonialism. If somebody reads Savarkar, then he will know what is his stature.
Your impressions on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.
He has done well. As a young chief minister, his behaviour, his decision making and his execution capabilities have come out exceedingly well, which I have experienced personally also.
Though I was the governor of Uttar Pradesh, I had my eyes here also.