Ram Naik

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Ram Naik
Ram Naik and Narendra Modi.jpg
Ram Naik (left) with Narendra Modi
Governor of Uttar Pradesh
Incumbent
Assumed office
22-07-2014
Preceded by Aziz Qureshi
Member of Parliament
In office
1989–2004
Preceded by Anoopchand Shah
Succeeded by Govinda Ahuja
Constituency Mumbai North
Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas
In office
1999–2004
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Succeeded by Mani Shankar Aiyar
Personal details
Born (1934-04-16) 16 April 1934 (age 80)
Atpadi, Sangli district, Maharashtra
Nationality Indian
Political party Bharatiya Janata Party
Spouse(s) Married
Children 2 daughters
Profession Politician

Ram Naik (born April 16, 1934) is an Indian politician and the present Governor of Uttar Pradesh[1][2] He was born in Atpadi, in Sangli district of Maharashtra, in a middle class deshastha family. He married Kunda Naik on May 17, 1960 and has 2 daughters. His elder daughter Nishigandha Naik is a biologist and his younger daughter Vishakha Kulkarni who is his personal secretary, has a son, Shardool. He is a commerce and law graduate.

He defeated dreaded disease cancer in 1993.He was part of the central cabinet during the NDA rule and held the Oil and Natural Gas portfolio. He was instrumental in introducing Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme. Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation was formed when he was Minister of State for Railways.

He was a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was a member of the 13th Lok Sabha (1999–2004). He was the BJP candidate for elections to the 14th Lok Sabha representing Mumbai North, but lost to famous Bollywood actor Govinda, a INC candidate from Virar.

Ram Naik announced in September 2013 that he will not contest the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls thus ending a glorious career in politics.[3] On July 14, 2014 he was named as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh.[2]

Political career[edit]

Ram Naik was designated as the Governor of Uttar Pradesh by Hon'ble President of India on 14 July 2014 and took the oath of office on 22 July 2014 at Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh. Subsequently he was also designated as the Governor of Rajasthan on 5 August 2014 and held the additional charge for Governor of Rajasthan from 8th Aug. 2014 to 3rd Sept. 2014.

Naik was the Cabinet Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas in the Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee from 13 October 1999 to 13 May 2004. After creation of a separate Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas in 1963, he has a rare distinction to be the only Petroleum Minister to head the ministry for full five years. In the earlier Cabinet, he was Minister of State for Railways (Independent Charge), Home Affairs, Planning & Programme Implementation and Parliamentary Affairs (from 13 March 1998 to 13 October 1999), a record number of Ministries indeed at one time! He was a member of BJP National Executive Committee and also the National Convener of 'Good Governance Cell' specially constituted to enhance efficiency and performance of Ministers in BJP ruled states. Naik decided that he would not contest 2014 Lok Sabha election and would continue to work for BJP sharing his political experience. The decision was announced in a press conference held on 25 September 2013, the birth anniversary day of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay who led Bharatiya Jana Sangh by his characteristic simplicity and expounded the theory of Integral Humanism. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP candidate Gopal Shetty nominated from his North Mumbai constituency secured highest votes 6,64,004 and also the highest margin of 4,46,582 in Maharashtra. Naik was his Election - in - charge.

When Naik took over as a Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas in October 1999, the waiting list of LPG for domestic cooking purposes was 1 crore 10 lakh. During his tenure he not only liquidated the waiting list but also gave 3 crore 50 lakh new connections against 3 crore 37 lakh connections in previous 40 years. He also introduced 5 kg cylinders to cater to the needs of families in lower income group in hilly regions as well as urban slums. The LPG cylinders were available on demand. He planned many programmes to overcome 70% dependence on import of crude oil and also started their implementation. Important among them was production of ethanol as a by-product in sugar factories, which would be blended up to 10% with petrol to be used as transport fuel. The Petroleum Ministry also allotted Petrol Pumps and LPG Distributorships to widows/dependents of Defense Personnel who laid down their lives in Kargil war. Brave women and men of those security personnel who lost thei lives in protecting Parliament House from attack by terrorists in December 2001 were also awarded Petrol Pumps for their supreme sacrifice. In order to reduce pollution by vehicles run on petrol-diesel, he introduced CNG in Delhi and Mumbai. At present 1.40 lakh autorikshaw, 53 thousand taxies, 7,500 private cars and 8,400 buses-trucks-tempoes run on CNG in Mumbai. Instead of LPG cylinders for cooking, he introduced more safe, easy to use and also comparatively cheaper pipe gas for cooking. Presently 7 lakh families in Mumbai and 1,900 small industries are using PNG in Mumbai.

Naik is known as a friend of Mumbai suburban railway commuters. He started organising suburban commuters by founding 'Goregaon Pravasi Sangh' in 1964. A commuter activist turned into Minister of State for Railways in 1998, he got established the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation for providing better facilities to 76 lakh commuters who travel in the world's most over-crowded suburban trains in Mumbai. He was instrumental in starting 'Special Ladies Local Trains' in Mumbai for the first time in the world. Extension of suburban section of Western Railway up to Dahanu, 12 coach rakes, computerized reservation centres at various places, quadruplicating of railway lines from Borivli to Virar and 6 tracks of railway line from Kurla to Kalyan are a few of the important works in the city for which Naik was instrumental. The dynamic decision of banning sale of cigarettes and bidies on railway platforms and trains was taken during the regime of Naik. The innovative idea of inviting commuters' suggestions for naming new trains is a brain-child of Naik. He was also instrumental in providing relief to commuters affected in bomb-blasts of suburban trains on 11 July 2006. Dahanu-Churchgate locals have been commissioned from 16 April 2013, thereby increasing the distance of suburban section from 60 km. to 124 km. on Western Railway.

Naik who represented North Mumbai Lok Sabha Constituency from Maharashtra as a BJP MP has a track record of getting elected successively for five terms. Earlier he got elected as an MLA for three consecutive terms from Borivli Assembly Constituency, which is a part of his Parliamentary Constituency. In the elections for the 13th Lok Sabha, he secured 5,17,941 votes, which were the highest votes secured by an M.P. in Maharashtra. He created a new record of getting elected successively eight times from Mumbai. He used to present his annual Performance Report to the voters as people's representative to uphold the democratic principle of accountability.

Naik, a seasoned Parliamentarian was the Chairman of the prestigious Public Accounts Committee in 1995-96. He was the Chief Whip of BJP in the 11th Lok Sabha. He also contributed significantly in the Parliamentary debates as well as in important committees like Joint Parliamentary Committees for Security Scam and Empowerment of Women, Railway Convention Committee, etc. He was also a member of the Chairman's Panel to preside over the Lok Sabha proceedings.

Naik has been instrumental in singing 'Vande Mataram' in the Parliament. He successfully prevailed upon the Government to change the name 'Bombay' in English and 'Bambai' in Hindi to its original Marathi name 'Mumbai'. It is his brain-child, which made available Rs.1 crore annually to each Member of Parliament for need based small development projects in his constituency. This amount was increased to Rs. 2 crore during his tenure as Minister of State for Planning & Programme Implementation. It has been subsequently increased to Rs. 5 crore. He also introduced, in the capacity of a Private Member, a Bill for 'Promotion of Breast Feeding and Ban on Advertisements of Baby Foods'. The Bill was subsequently adopted by the Government and became an Act.

Born on 16 April 1934, at Sangli in Maharashtra, Ram Naik had his early school education at Atpadi in Sangli District and secured B.Com. degree in 1954 from Brihan Maharashtra College of Commerce, Pune and LL.B. degree in 1958 from Kishinchand Chellaram College, Mumbai. He started his career in the Accountant General's Office, Mumbai as an Upper Division Clerk. In due course he rose to higher posts and also worked as a Company Secretary and Management Consultant till 1969. He has been a R.S.S. Swayamsevak from his childhood.

On the organizational wing of the political party, he started as a grass-root worker of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana Sangh. In 1969, he resigned from the service to work as the Organising Secretary of Mumbai unit of Bharatiya Jana Sangh. He continued to work in that capacity for eight years. He was also President of BJP Mumbai unit for three terms. He was a Special Invitee of National Executive Committee and also the National Convener of 'Good Governance Cell'.

Naik has personally pleaded for rehabilitation of project affected persons of Tarapur Atomic Power Project III and IV in Mumbai High Court from 2004. The long awaited justice is on way. Naik has also written a book 'Saga of Struggle' which narrates the case. The book is translated version of his original Marathi book 'Gatha Sangharshachi'. With Naik's initiative, a petition was submitted to the Rajya Sabha on 5 December 2007 for empowerment and rehabilitation of the leprosy affected families. The Committee on Petitions have submitted their report to the Rajya Sabha on 24 October 2008. He is also the President of the International Leprosy Union, Pune from 23 November 2012. The NGO was founded in 1987 by the renowned sociologist Dr.S.D.Gokhale .

Naik, a winner of eight elections, has also won over the serious disease of Cancer in 1994. He has devoted full-time for the Party and also the social work stating that in recovery from Cancer, he got the 'bonus' of his life and that he would utilize it in the Service of the Nation. Naik is a unique personality, known for his awareness and his eye for the details. He is respected for his honesty, wide networking and public contact, as also for his remarkable competence.

After being designated as a Governor, Naik has resigned from the membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party and all its posts on 15 July 2014.

Positions held[edit]

  • 1969-1977 - Organising Secretary, Bharatiya Jan Sangh, Mumbai
  • 1977-78 - General Secretary, Janata Party, Mumbai
  • 1978-1989 - Member, Legislative Assembly of Maharashtra (3 terms)
  • 1979-1980 - President, Janata Party, Mumbai
  • 1980-1986 - President, BJP, Mumbai
  • 1986-1989 - Vice President, BJP, Maharashtra
  • 1989 - Elected to 9th Lok Sabha
  • 1991 - Elected to 10th Lok Sabha
  • 1999 - Elected to 13th Lok Sabha
  • 1999-2004 - Union Cabinet Minister, Petroleum and Natural Gas
  • since 2004 - President, All India Disciplinary Committee of BJP
  • 2014- Governor of Uttar Pradesh

References[edit]

External links[edit]