I will protect people of all faiths, says new Governor

Governor Hans Raj BhardwajIn his first interaction with the media after being sworn in as the 16th Governor of Karnataka by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, Bhardwaj said, “I have no doubt that the duty of the head of the State is to protect every person, minority or majority, and people of all faiths,”

He said Raj Bhavan will be accessible to the people, and that at the same time he would attend to invitations within the limits of restriction of his office. “Raj Bhavan is run on the state exchequer, and its doors cannot be closed. I will be accessible to people and the press. But you should not make me controversial,” he said, to peal of laughter.

Replying to a question on the trend of politicising the appointment of Governors, Bhardwaj said he would discharge his duties as enshrined in the constitution. “Every job is challenging, and the duties of the Governor have been clearly carved out,” he added.

To another query on the Lok Ayukta’s report on mining pending with the state government, Bhardwaj said, “I have been sworn in only today, please give me a chance to understand.”

Bhardwaj will hold office for five years. He replaces incumbent Governor Rameshwar Thakur.

Earlier, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and his cabinet colleagues received Bhardwaj at the Bengaluru International Airport on his arrival in the morning.

Bio data

* Date of Birth:  May 17, 1937 in Garhi village of Rohtak, Haryana

* Education: MA., LL.B., Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)

* Profession: Senior advocate, Supreme Court

* Spouse’s name: Prafulata Bhardwaj; Children: One son & two daughters

* Political experience: He has been member of the Rajya Sabha continuously since 1982. He served as Minister of State in the Ministry of Law and Justice from December 1984 to November 1989. He was then MofS (Independent Charge) in the Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation (June 1991 to July 1992), and Minister of State in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs from July 1992 to May 1996. He served as Union Cabinet Minister of Law and Justice between 2004 and 2009 
* Hobbies: Farming and gardening

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