Tuesday, July 6, 2010

BJP fails to convice K'taka Lokayukta from quitting

A last ditch attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party to refrain Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde from resigning has failed.

State BJP unit chief K S Eshwarappa, Home Minister Dr V S Acharya and Law Minister Suresh Kumar met Justice Hegde and asked him to reconsider his decision, but the Lokayukta averred that he will not change his mind.

The senior BJP leaders urged Justice Hegde to withdraw his resignation and pointed out that Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had promised to act against illegal mining.

The top anti-corruption official had resigned to protest the state government's inaction about several of his reports, specially the one about the illegal mining lobby operating in Karnataka.

When contacted, Jutstice Hegde told rediff.com, "My answer continues to be an emphatic no. I am sticking to my decision."

When queried about the chief minister promising to act against illegal mining, he said, "It is a very bold decision. The CM has admitted to the problem and also assured action."

He added, "The job can't be done single-handedly by the CM. He has to ensure that all the departments involved in this aspect coordinate with each other and end the problem. Whether he will be able to do that is yet to be seen".

Speaking about his meeting with BJP leaders, Justice Hegde said, "They told me that the CM is making an honest attempt to clean up the mess. He has decided to bring in new rules and has also spoken to the Centre, seeking more help on this issue".

The Lokayukta is expected to submit another report on illegal mining to the state government in 20 days, after which he will step down from office.

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