Hope to continue good work of my predecessor

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New Delhi: Newly appointed Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan on Wednesday expressed hope that she would continue the good work of her predecessor under whose stewardship the Ministry had performed "extremely well".

"The Ministry has performed extremely well under the stewardship of my predecessor and I hope to continue the good work done by him," Natarajan told reporters after assuming charge as Minister for Environment and Forests (Independent).

Stating that the Ministry under Jairam Ramesh had never been a "roadblock" to progress, she said that environment and development should go hand in hand.

"I plan to address all those issues with the prime interest of people of India at heart and with complete sense of justice, fair-play and I have a completely open mind. But I certainly intend to make sure that all environmental issues in this country remain in the mainstream," she said.

"I am not apprehensive of anything," Natarajan said when asked whether she was "apprehensive" about her comparison with Ramesh as Environment Minister.

"I certainly hope that I am able to justify the confidence that has been reposed to me by the Prime Minister, Congress president and the people of the country," she said. Disputing with the argument that her work would be rated on the basis of an increased rejection of green clearances to projects, Natarajan said, "I would go entirely by the justice of the matter and what is good for the people of the country".

"I feel that nothing should be judged by any rate of rejection," the minister said.

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