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Updated: July 24, 2011 22:57 IST

Bhardwaj to convey his opinion to President on Lokayukta report

Special Correspondent
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Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj indicated on Sunday he cannot intervene on the issue of phone tapping of Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde. File photo
The Hindu
Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj indicated on Sunday he cannot intervene on the issue of phone tapping of Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde. File photo

Adding to the political heat, Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Sunday indicated that he will give a report comprising his opinion to President Pratibha Patil soon after the Lokayukta's final report on illegal mining, which has indicted Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and four Ministers, is officially submitted.

Replying to queries from presspersons if the Lokayukta's report on illegal mining — which exposes the nexus between those in the government and mining lobby — is a fit case for recommending President's Rule in the State, the Governor remarked: “I have not received any request from either side (ruling or the Opposition parties) on whether this warrants President's Rule or anything.”

Pointing out that the report was yet to be officially submitted by the Lokayukta and the information related to indictment of the Chief Minister and other Ministers has been learnt only through media reports, he said: “All these things are coming in the press.”

Hinting that he was waiting for the official submission of the report, Mr. Bhardwaj said: “Let this matter come on record. Then I can express my opinion to the President. It (his opinion) cannot be leaked to the press.”

When his attention was drawn to Lokayukta Santhosh Hegde's stand that he would submit the report to the government and not to the Governor as it was the government which had asked him to conduct such a probe, Mr. Bhardwaj said: “I never asked him to give a report to me. But I said that if he chooses, then I am a competent authority to deal with the government.”

When asked if he would play a pro-active role with respect to taking action based on recommendations in the mining report, he said "Look here, we have not reached that stage. Lokayukta is cognisant of this matter.”

Asking the media to appreciate his position, he said: “They (State Government) have already made me controversial here for no reason.”

He told the media: “You are the best judge. Media is the mirror of society.

Phone-tapping

Even as the Opposition parties have appealed to him to initiate action with respect to Justice Hegde's allegations that his telephones were being tapped, the Governor said he could not intervene in the matter.

He maintained that it was a matter between the aggrieved party (Lokayukta) and people against whom grievances have been made out.

“Those are very responsible people who tried to influence him or tried to tap his telephone. Telephone-tapping cannot be done by you and me. I have no role in this matter,” he said.

However, he declared: “If the Lokayukta wants me to do anything, I promise him that within the responsibility assigned to me by the Constitution, I will do what ever is possible. But that stage has not come.”

PTI adds

Meanwhile, an embattled Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is expected to return to Bangalore on Monday from a week-long Mauritius holiday with family amid debate in the party on his future in the wake of Lokayukta’s damning indictment on the mining scam.


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