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State BJP leaders request Lokayukta to withdraw resignation

MTNN, July 2, 2010

Bangalore, July 2, 2010: In a damage-control exercise, ruling BJP in Karnataka on Friday appealed to Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde to withdraw his resignation but he refused to budge.

Santhosh HegdeA senior BJP delegation led by state party president K S Eshwarappa, Home Minister V S Acharya and Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar met Hegde and pressed him to reconsider his decision.

"He (Hegde) said he would pay attention to reconsidering the resignation", Eshwarappa told reporters after the meeting.

He said Hegde was told that the BJP government would move strongly against illegal mining in the State and drew attention to Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s statement affirming government’s resolve to stop it.

Yeddyurappa is mulling ordering an inquiry against illegal mining in the state from 2003, he said. "We will approach the Centre to stop export of iron ore from Karnataka," Eshwarappa said. Hegde said later he was happy that the Chief Minister has admitted to illegal mining and promised to take action.

The Lokayukta had on many occasions spoken about illegal mining in the state but he said he took the decision to quit after deep thought and would not reconsider it.

Hegde said he initially said "no" to the delegation but when they persisted he told them he would reconsider his decision only "out of politeness" which in other words meant "no".

Hegde had recently announced his decision to resign with effect from August 31 accusing the BJP government of being indifferent towards tackling corruption and was particularly unhappy about illegal mining.

His resignation has dominated state politics since his announcement and a united opposition -- the Congress and JDS -- this week repeatedly attacked the BJP government on the issue of resignation.

A significant section of the public and intellectuals have come out in support of Hegde, prompting the BJP to take the initiative sensing the public mood.

The decision to persuade Hegde was taken at meeting senior ministers held at the official residence of Yeddyurappa yesterday and today, party sources said.


Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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