In the backdrop of anti-north Indian sentiments expressed by some political organisations in Maharashtra in the past, UP Governor Ram Naik on Wednesday said “good” north Indians are safe in Mumbai.
“Everyone has a contribution in establishing Mumbai. Those from other states coming there have a contribution in making the city … no one is less or more in this.” “Everyone is safe in Mumbai … not only this, the good north Indians in Maharashtra are safe,” Naik said during a media interaction organised here by UP Working Journalists Union in Lucknow on Wednesday.
Political parties like the Raj Thackeray-led MNS have often targeted the north Indian and Hindi-speaking communities in Maharashtra, especially people from UP and Bihar, in the past. Naik, who has been elected to the parliament from the North Mumbai constituency multiple times, referred to the state as his ‘Janm and Karm bhoomi’ and said, “In Maharashtra also there are some people who are not good, it happens everywhere.”
Naik, claimed that he had thought of MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund before it was actually brought up.
To a question on corruption in the MPLAD funds, Naik said, “It is correct that 10 to 15% of the MPLAD goes in corruption. In the very beginning when discussions were being held on this fund, suspicions were expressed in this regard.” “Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had said that only 10 paise of one rupee released by the government for development works reach people. What will you like to choose, graft in 90 per cent of government funds or 15 per cent of MPLADs,” he asked.
Naik stressed that funds for the MPs and MLAs was essential but there is also a need to control corruption in it effectively. To a question on difference of work culture between the people of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, the Governor said people from UP work very hard in Mumbai but lesser in their home state.
“If they work as hard here, the situation in the state could be much better,” he said. To a question on the allegation that Central government not providing expected support for Metro project in Lucknow, Naik said that he has been told by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav that things were moving as planned in the project.
“Besides the officials connected with the project are also expressing satisfaction … however if there is any problem I will apprise the Centre about it,” he said. Naik said that a memorial should come up in the name of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. On the occasion, the Governor also honoured four journalists from Uttar Pradesh who have excelled in their field in Mumbai.