Yeddyurappa expressions Lokayukta’s resignation unfortunate

10:28 PM, Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Karnataka C.M Yedyurappa Speaking about Hegde's Issue

Karnataka C.M Yedyurappa Speaking about Hegde's Issue

24.06.10 Bangalore : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Thursday termed the sudden resignation of Karnataka Lokayukta (ombudsman) Santosh Hegde Wednesday as unfortunate and unexpected.
“The ombudsman’s resignation is not only unexpected but an unfortunate event. It pains me to know that he (Hegde) has resigned,” Yeddyurappa told reporters here, on the occasion of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government completing two years in office.
Clarifying that his government tried to fulfil most of the demands placed by the Lokayukta, Yeddyurappa said an order was issued April 27 against restoring suspended officers in the same post pending investigation into graft or other charges.
“The state government never tried to dilute Lokyaukta’s powers. A GO (government order) was issued April 27 against revoking suspension of officers booked in corruption cases or for possessing wealth disproportionate to their income,” the beleaguered chief minister said at a meet-the-press event, organised by the Bangalore Press Club.
The state government has also decided to hereafter consult the Lokayukta in the matter of postings, transfers and re-instatement of suspended officers.
Highlighting some of the initiatives taken to meet the Lokayukta’s demands, Yeddurappa said the government had issued an order May 14 to create additional 292 police posts for the Lokayukta office.
“Similarly, 15 percent additional dearness allowance (DA) was sanctioned to officials working in Lokayukta (office) and free bus passes to its staff April 15. The government also agreed to set up a Lokayukta office in the newly formed Yadgir district of north Karnataka,” Yeddyurappa recalled.
On the appointment of Upa Lokayukta (deputy ombudsman), a post which has been lying vacant for nearly six months, the chief minister said the government had no intention to keep the post vacant for long and efforts were on to select a suitable candidate and an announcement to that effect would be made soon.
“The appointment of a new deputy ombudsman was delayed due to the model code of conduct being in force for elections to the legislative assembly and local bodies during the past few months,” Yeddurappa noted.
This is not the first time the Upa Lokayukta post has remained vacant for so long. It remained so for longer periods from April 2002 to Dec 12, 2004 and January 1991 to February 1992 in the past.
Reiterating his government’s commitment to provide Lokayukta with suo motu powers, the chief minister said there were efforts to build a consensus among political parties and bureaucrats underway though no time frame has been fixed.
“Attempts to give suo motu powers to Lokayukta have been going on since 1986 by successive governments without success. Even a cabinet sub-committee was formed in 2006 to study the pros and cons of such an action but no decision was taken. We have been in office for only two years and caught up with many challenges facing the state,” Yeddyurappa asserted.

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