Will not tone down Lokayukta in Karnataka: Governor

File PhotoKarnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj today said he would not allow "toning down" and "downgrading" of Lokayukta institution in the state as he stuck to his position that the government's recommendation on the new head to the anti-corruption body is not acceptable to him.

"I don't go back on my words. Whatever I have said will be done. But I have to give opportunity to the government and when they are open to dialogue we will see that (we will be able) to reconcile", he told reporters on the sidelines of a function.

The state government had recommended S R Bannurmath, former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, for the post but Bhardwaj asked it to suggest some other names, citing reports about controversial land allotment to Bannurmath.

Earlier this month, the Governor had also said: "I will give you the Supreme Court judgement against the gentleman (Bannurmath). But I don't want to say publicly because he is a former Chief Justice". The government has maintained that it can take a call on the new name only after the Governor rejected its recommendation on Bannurmath.

Bhardwaj said today: "I have explained to you: this is an institution of integrity. I will not tone down Lokayukta in Karnataka. And the national mood also is the same that we should upgrade these institutions rather than downgrade them".

The post of Lokayukta is lying vacant since early September after Shivraj Patil, who succeeded Santosh Hegde, resigned as the anti-corruption watchdog in the wake of allegations of irregularities in securing allotment of government land.

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