New Delhi/Bangalore: Home Minister P
Chidambaram on Friday requested Karnataka Lokayukta head Santosh
Hegde not to press his resignation, saying this would only
encourage the "corrupt elements" in the state but the former
Supreme Court judge made it clear that he will stick to his
Chidambaram spoke to Hegde who had tendered his
resignation on Wednesday citing the "callous" attitude of the
BJP government in the state towards fighting corruption.
"I requested Hegde not to press his resignation. The
resignation will give greater encouragement and comfort to
corrupt elements in Karnataka. Therefore in the interest of
the people of Karnataka, he should not press his resignation"
Chidambaram told him.
The Home Minister later told PTI that Hegde indicated
he would consider the request.
In Bangalore, Hegde said his decision to quit the post of
Lokayukta was final and there was no political motive behind
"No political motive should be ascribed to it," Hegde, an
anti-corruption crusader, said. The judge, who has received
numerous requests urging him to reconsider his action, said,
"This is my personal decision and it is final."
Describing Chidambaram as an old friend and professional
colleague whom he had known for decades, Hegde said, "He spoke
as a friend, as an acquaintance...It was a courtesy call."
Asked about Chidambaram`s statement that he (Hegde) had
indicated that he would reconsider his decision, Hegde said,
"This must be his pious hope."
He said it was not just the Union Minister, but several
others, including former Chief Justices of the Supreme Court
and Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj who had asked him to
withdraw his resignation.
Refuting allegations by BJP that his decision to resign
was due to some political influence, he said, "Nobody can
Soon after submitting his resignation to the Governor,
Hegde had said he had no regrets over quitting office. "I am
not in the habit of using resignation as a blackmail."
Known for his crusade against corruption and
the mining lobby, Hegde resigned from his post, criticising
the Yeddyurappa government for its "indifference to Lokayukta
"I don`t want to be useless sitting in a position. It
is not enough if I catch people. I need powers to bring cases
to logical conclusion," he said.
Hegde`s resignation comes at a time when the first-ever
BJP government in the south is celebrating its completion of
two years in office.