Ranchi, June 12: Soon after being sworn in today, Governor Ved Prakash Marwah said a “modern, professional” police force was necessary to tackle the Naxalite problem in the state.
Marwah, however, said he was not here on any “special mission”. “What are extraordinary circumstances' Shifting of Governors is not a new thing. It is the President’s prerogative to appoint Governors. For me it is a great privilege to serve as a Governor,” he explained.
Marwah, who was the Governor of Manipur, has replaced M. Rama Jois, a relatively new appointee in Jharkhand, who has been shifted to Bihar.
A former IPS officer and an expert on internal security, Marwah has been a member of the National Security Advisory Board, besides being advisers to the Governors of Jammu and Kashmir and Bihar and director-general of the National Security Guards. Awarded the Padmashree in 1989, the former police commissioner of Delhi has also authored a book, Uncivil Wars.
The Governor said a “multipronged” strategy was necessary to counter the Naxalite problem. “It is a complex problem. Economic backwardness is the basic issue. The political system in the state should be such as to not create tensions in society but promote harmony among different sections. My priorities are the same as that of the chief minister,” he added. Arjun Munda and Speaker Inder Singh Namdhari were present at the function.
Asked whether the problem was manageable or serious, Marwah said: “All problems are manageable. The extremists do get public support. It is necessary for the government to act to remove backwardness, particularly among tribals.”
The sudden replacement of Jois, a former high court judge, by Marwah has come as a surprise to political and bureaucratic circles in the state.
His appointment is being seen from the perspective of the problem of Left-wing extremism, which has spread to all parts of the state except the five districts of Santhal Pargana.
Police appeared divided over the “objectives” of the new Governor. While a section of senior IPS officers maintained Marwah’s appointment was “not more than mere symbolism because Governors have a very limited administrative role to play”, another group said he could play a pro-active role.
But Marwah asked: “What do you mean by playing a pro-active role' I will go by the Constitution and perform my duties as Governor.”
On his special constitutional powers with regard to the Scheduled Areas, Marwah said he would study the matter. The Governor has to submit a report to the Centre on the administration of such tribal-dominated areas but Marwah’s predecessors did not do so.
“I would not comment on the functioning of my illustrious predecessors. But I will support and advise the chief minister on this issue,” he said.
On the administration of the universities, of which the Governor is the ex-officio chancellor, he said the university institutions like senates and syndicates would have to function properly.
“The university system in Manipur was in the pits. It has now looked up. But universities, often a reflection of politics outside, should not create tensions. I will study the problems of the universities.”