Hegde's comments not in good taste: Gowda

Under fire from the BJP and the JDS, Hegde had yesterday hit back at Yeddyurappa, challenging him to disclose documents to support his allegation that he had been offered a top post at the Centre by the Congress-led UPA.

"If there is material why does he not produce it... instead of making oral allegations," Hegde had said. He said the Lokayukta institution was sought to be denigrated for "what it has done in the last 10 years" in terms of arresting the corrupt. "They don't want the institution to continue. You give a dog bad name and then kill it. This seems to be the principle."

Hegde had come under renewed attack by BJP and JDS leaders after a former Lokayukta SP, K Madhukar Shetty alleged in a newspaper interview that the Lokayukta was not free from corruption and that there were black sheep in it.

Gowda said there was no proposal before the government to wind up the Lokayukta institution or to curtain its powers, and added, "personally I have lot of respect for Hegde".

The chief minister also questioned why, when the BJP government entrusted the then Lokayukta with probing illegal mining from 2000-2010, Hegde had only probed a period of four years (2006-2010).

The BJP leader alleged that though the interim report on illegal mining by Hegde had indicted former Karnataka chief minister N Dharam Singh and recommended that losses caused by him should be recovered, the recommendation had been dropped. "Who dropped the recommendation? It was the Governor. Why Hegde is not talking about it," Gowda asked.

The chief minister said apart from instances where there were only vague references to officials allegedly involved in the scam, the government had taken action against those officials who had been specifically named.

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