Governor H.R. Bhardwaj on Tuesday requested religious leaders of all denominations in the State to speak in a secular voice in their interaction with society/people, because the Constitution expects them to do so.

After he presented the Nirmal Gram Puraskar to village panchayat presidents at the Raj Bhavan here, Mr. Bhardwaj was asked for comments on Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa's request to Veerashaiva/Lingayat religious leaders at the Veerashaiva Sabha in Mysore for support in his difficult times a couple of days ago.

Though Mr. Bhardwaj refrained from commenting on Mr. Yeddyurappa's request, he urged swamijis to follow secular principles in public life, as the State was governed by a secular Constitution. They should guide people on secular lines and not on religious or caste basis, he added.

“We all believe in religious things, but the State Government, he said, should act according to secular principles. Asked why he was not speaking about Mr. Yeddyurappa these days and whether he was frustrated, the Governor countered: “Why do you want me to speak against the Chief Minister. I have spoken about issues pertaining to him. I am not frustrated and I am a fighter.”