Govt not curbing Lokayukta powers, CM tells Centre

Yeddyurappa sends a strong reply to Union Home Minister

Govt not curbing Lokayukta powers, CM tells Centre

In his “confidential” reply to the Union Minister, Yeddyurappa is learnt to have rejected Chidambaram’s argument that the government tried to curtail the Lokayukta’s powers by appointing a judicial commission to probe the alleged illegal allotment and denotification of land.

In his reply, Yeddyurappa is said to have asserted that the issues that were before the Lokayukta prior to the setting up of the one-man judicial commission, headed by retired High Court Judge Justice B Padmaraj, continue to be investigated by the Lokayukta. Only those that are not in the domain of the Lokayukta investigation have been referred to the inquiry commission, Yeddyurappa is learnt to have said in his reply.

Chidambaram sent a four-page communication to Yeddyurappa soon after the Centre rejected Governor H R Bhardwaj’s report recommending imposition of the President’s Rule in the State. The Home Minister had reportedly asked the chief minister to understand the spirit behind the letter, and explain the course of action to be taken on these issues.

Official sources said the Home Minister’s communication was not an advisory under Article 355 of the Constitution and that it was a demi-official letter.  Besides the land scam, the Union Home Minister has raised about a dozen issues, including illegal mining, corruption charges against the chief minister and his family members, bundh call given by the State unit of the BJP, and Operation Lotus.

On illegal mining, sources said, Yeddyurappa has explained in detail, steps his government has taken to prevent it, including banning iron ore export. The government had extended its full cooperation to the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court by furnishing all information. He has also reiterated the need for the Centre imposing a ban on iron ore export across the country.

On corruption charges against him, Yeddyurappa is understood to have stated that the matter was before the court of law.

Speaking to reporters, Yeddyurappa confirmed that he had sent his replies in a sealed cover but did not elaborate.

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