"I will deal with it according to Sections 12 and 13 of Karnataka Lokayukta Act"
The political heat on Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa in the wake of his indictment in the Lokayukta's final report on illegal mining increased on Friday, with Governor H.R. Bhardwaj saying he would act on the report if it is sent to him by the Lokayukta.
The Governor, who has given sanction to prosecute the Chief Minister in a case before the Lokayukta Special Court, said: “If, as a competent authority, the Lokayukta sends the report to me, I will deal with it according to Sections 12 and 13 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act.”
Speaking to The Hindu, Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde said the Lokayukta police could independently prosecute those indicted in the report and book cases against them if the State government chose to put the report into cold storage.
The other option, he noted, would be to forward the report to the Governor under Section 12 (5) of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act. The report would be submitted on Monday or Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Mr. Yeddyurappa, who is holidaying in the Mauritius, told Times Now television channel that he was not involved in illegal mining and that he did not issue any mining lease as Chief Minister.
Denying the charges against him that had appeared in some portions of the report that is public, he said he would respond only when the final report was officially submitted.
He denied he had been summoned to New Delhi by the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership. But he said he would return to Bangalore through New Delhi.
The party's State unit on Friday took stock of the damage to the party's image as a result of the leaked contents of the report.
While the party's official line is that damage control should wait till the submission of the full report, Mr. Yeddyurappa's detractors are already looking to the possibility of a change in the leadership.
The State unit of the Congress has demanded the resignation of the Chief Minister and a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the allegations by the Lokayukta of phone-tapping.