Bhardwaj reiterates stand on Bannurmath for the post

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj said here on Sunday that he expected the row over the appointment of Lokayukta to be resolved soon as Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda was cooperating with him on the issue.

He indicated to presspersons, after administering the oath of office to the former Karnataka High Court judge Chandrashekaraiah as Upalokayukta at the Raj Bhavan, that the Government had offered to suggest another name for the post.

Mr. Bhardwaj, who had openly rejected the recommendation of the Government to appoint the former Kerala High Court Chief Justice S.R. Bannurmath as Lokayukta, said there were other reasons for rejecting his name and he could not disclose the details, as he wanted to protect his dignity. The post fell vacant following the resignation of Shivaraj V. Patil. To reporters' queries on Mr. Bannurmath's appointment, the Governor reacted wryly: “That is out of question”. He said that the allotment of a site was not the only issue for rejecting his name. He said that he had written twice to Mr. Gowda reminding him to immediately suggest a suitable name for the post and he would approve it in 30 minutes. He said that senior police officers who were investigating key cases were transferred, which triggered suspicion about the Government. He charged that some vested interests were not keen on the implementation of the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

On the controversy surrounding the Vice-Chancellor of VTU, the Governor said he had ordered an investigation into it. “I will act after receiving the report,” he added.

Expressing unhappiness over the police-advocates rift, the Governor criticised the attack on presspersons. He said that the Advocates Association Bangalore president K.N. Subba Reddy had assured him that such things would not recur.