M A I N   N E W S

Karnataka illegal mining report
Yeddyurappa’s fate may be decided today 
Lokayukta to submit report; may recommend CM’s removal

Bangalore, July 26
Amid intense speculations as regard the fate of indicted Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde will submit his report into the illegal mining in the state to the state government tomorrow.“It is my endeavour to give the report to the government tomorrow,” Hegde told The Tribune.

The Lokayukta’s report may well be the last nail in Yeddyurappa’s coffin as he has already been facing numerous charges of land scams. His further continuance in the CM’s office is likely to blunt the BJP’s attack on the Congress on the issue of corruption in Parliament where the monsoon session is slated to begin from August 1.

Names of Jagdish Shettar, Rural Development Minister, Ananth Kumar, MP and BJP general secretary, and K Eshrwappa, MLA and president of BJP in Karnataka, are doing the round as probable successors of Yeddyurappa. The caste factor has made Shettar the front-runner for the post. Like Yeddyurappa, Shettar also hails from the dominant Lingayat community.

Meanwhile, Hegde is keeping his recommendation with regard to Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa a closely guarded secret.

According to Section 13 of the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, Hegde can recommend the removal of the Chief Minister and the latter will have to quit office if the Governor asks him to do so in the light of the recommendation made by the Lokayukta.

The controversial Governor HR Bhardwaj has already conveyed his desire of acting on the recommendation of the Lokayukta. However, Hegde has said that “ordinarily” he is not supposed to send the report to the Governor. “No” was Hegde’s reply when this reporter asked him whether Bhardwaj has asked him for a copy of the report.

But, Bhardwaj may not even need to step in to hasten Yeddyurappa’s removal. The BJP, Yeddyurappa’s own party, may ask him to resign when the contents of the report become officially available after it is given to the Chief Secretary of Karnataka by Hegde.

On his indictment by the Lokayukta, Yeddyurappa said he would first study the report (after it was formally submitted by the Lokayukta) and would only then decide his next course of action.

Besides Yeddyurappa, the Lokayukta’s second and final report on illegal mining has also indicted JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and four BJP Ministers, including Reddy brothers - G Janardhana and G Karunakara - and B Sriramulu, all from mineral-rich Bellary district.

Hegde’s interim report on illegal mining submitted in 2008 had charged former Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh. The Congress leader, however, was rescued by an order from the then Governor Rameswar Thakur who gave him a clean chit.

Jija Harisingh, a woman IPS officer indicted in the Lokayukta’s first report, had also challenged Hegde’s recommendation against her in the CAT and got a ruling in her favour.

Justice Patil appointed new K’taka Lokayukta 

Bangalore: Former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj V Patil was on Tuesday appointed the new Lokayukta of Karnataka. He will replace Santosh Hegde whose eventful five-year term will come to an end on August 2. Patil (71) was Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court and acting chairman of the National Human Rights Commission





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