August 14, 2020
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"I'll Be Absolutely Apoliticial"

With a hung assembly in Uttar Pradesh, the focus is now on governor Vishnu Kant Shastri. Sutapa Mukherjee spoke to him. Excerpts:

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"I'll Be Absolutely Apoliticial"
Once again the spotlight's on the governor of UP?
Article 164 of the Constitution clearly states that the governor shall appoint the chief minister. Nothing else has been explicitly mentioned. I know I have to exercise my discretionary powers under such circumstances. In the past, the governor has not played much of an important role as in most elections one party emerged with a clear majority.

Any preconceived plans on how to tackle a hung assembly?
Everyone should be convinced that the governor has taken the right decision. I have decided to speak to all parties before I exercise my discretion. I want to give everybody a fair chance and, finally, whosoever proves the majority will be called to form the government.

Many politicians allege that you appear to have a saffron inclination, will that influence you?
I am what I am. That has nothing to do with how I act as governor. I am an absolutely apolitical man when I am governor. My record as governor in Himachal Pradesh clearly shows that I maintain good relations with all parties and communities.

How long will you take to give your decision?
I will try to take a decision as quickly as possible, according to the expectations of the people. I believe a government should be formed as soon as possible. I have almost one month in hand.

Will you consider Governor's rule as an option?
There is no reason why Governor's rule should be declared. I believe that declaring it speaks of the defeat of the parliamentary system. In a democracy, this should be the last resort. For me too, that will be the last resort.
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