Want to ensure Himachal people think I am one among them: Guv-designate Arlekar

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Panaji, Jul 9 (PTI) The newly-appointed governor of Himachal Pradesh, Rajendra Arlekar, on Friday said the first task in front of him after he takes oath of office will be to ensure that the people of the hill state think he is one among them.

The veteran Goa politician with a long innings in the BJP said he had not expected his appointment to the top post.

In an exclusive interview to PTI ahead of taking charge of his new office, Arlekar said, “I will make sure that the people there (Himachal Pradesh) feel that I am one among them. They should find closeness with me.' The 67-year-old former Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly said as a governor he will be playing a neutral role in the state.

“The governor has to always be neutral. If I have any differences of opinion, I will discuss them with the Chief Minister (of Himachal Pradesh). It is not fair for any governor to voice his opinion in public,” Arlekar said.

One of the first BJP MLAs to be elected to the Goa Legislative Assembly in the late 1980s, Arlekar said it was his upbringing in the RSS and BJP culture that taught him to play whichever role assigned to him wholeheartedly.

“As a governor, I will be playing my role in such a way that my performance benefits the state,” he said.

Arlekar said his appointment to the constitutional post was 'unexpected' and he was taken by surprise when Prime Minister Narendra Modi called him on July 5 informing him about it.

“The next day, President Ram Nath Kovind called me, personally informing me about the appointment,” he said, adding the appointment to the top post was an honour for an ordinary BJP worker. PTI RPS ARU RSY RSY

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