Lokayukta won't be scrapped, asserts DVS

“There is no conspiracy to close down the Lokayukta. We have sought some clarification on the illegal mining report,” Gowda told reporters, a day after former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde launched a tirade against the government over its inaction on the mining report.

Gowda said he was disappointed over the comments made by Hegde that the ruling party should include the issue of closing down the Lokayukta in its election manifesto for the Bellary bypoll. “It is not befitting the post Hegde held. He approaches the media on every issue, which is not right,” Gowda said.

The first report of Hegde on mining had indicted former chief minister N Dharam Singh and recommended that losses caused by him should be recovered. “Who dropped the recommendation? Why is Hegde not talking about it?,” Gowda questioned.

Earlier in the day, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Kumar said the State government had proposed Justice S R Bannurmath’s name to the Governor to be appointed as Lokayukta, only after consulting the five mandatory offices.

Speaking to reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Kumar said the chief minister had met Governor H R Bhardwaj twice and had explained to him about the Government’s choice for the Lokayukta post.

The name was sent to the Governor only after consulting the offices of the leaders of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly and the Council, the Speaker, the Chairman of the Council and Chief Justice of the High Court, said Kumar.

He also said that Gowda was yet to read the Governor’s letter sent to him on Tuesday. “The chief minister will arrive at a decision and decide on the next course of action after consulting senior ministers. We are serious about appointing the Lokayukta,” he added.

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