Karna govt calls governor a man of `prejudiced mindset`

Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Thursday said he will decide in two days on sanctioning prosecution of the CM in alleged land scams, drawing sharp reaction from ruling BJP which described him as a "man of prejudiced mindset".

Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 22:13 PM IST

Bangalore: In fresh barbs against B S
Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Thursday said he
will decide in two days on sanctioning prosecution of the
chief minister in alleged land scams, drawing sharp reaction
from ruling BJP which described him as a "man of prejudiced
mindset".

"Not today, I will give my decision on the issue in
two days, will speak to the media then," Bhardwaj told
reporters here, unfazed by the state cabinet resolution asking
him to drop prosecution proceedings, based on a complaint with
him.
"The land scam has been going on for many days. It is
nothing new. The probe in the matter was entrusted to
Lokayukta, then he (chief minister) said he would give back
the lands, then the matter was referred to a judicial
commission," Bhardwaj said.

"Everything is known to the media. What do I have to
do with this? It is people`s lands that has been taken. It is
like pot calling the kettle black (ulta chor kotwal ko
dante)," he said.

Shortly thereafter, Bhardwaj`s remarks invited a sharp
attack from BJP, which deputed an eight member ministerial
team to hit out at the governor.

"Here is a clear case of prejudged mindset occupying
the highest position in the state. This action has justified
our statement yesterday that the decision has already been
taken by the governor without going into facts. The governor
has come out with strange statements," Law Minister S Suresh
Kumar told a hurriedly convened press conference.

"Bhardwaj has written a new chapter by announcing the
verdict before verifying the evidence," Higher Education
Minister V S Acharya said.
"In 63 years since Independence, we have not seen such
a situation," Kannada and Culture Minister Govind Karjol said.

Karjol suggested that the governor reconsider his
action of attacking "his own government" when the chief
minister and the government held Bhardwaj in high esteem.

In a resolution, the cabinet had yesterday asked
Bhardwaj not to permit prosecution of Yeddyurappa and Home
Minister R Ashoka over alleged land scams, saying such a move
was nothing short of a "farce and colourable" exercise on his
part.

To a query, Bhardwaj said he had not received the
"full documents" he had sought from the government on
denotification of lands for which he had set January 20 as the
deadline.

But the ministers rejected his claim, saying 80 files
and documents out of 93 have already been given to him and the
remaining are in the process of being submitted.

The documents were delivered to Raj Bhavan in batches
on January 11, 14, 16 and 17, Karjol said and released a
statement to back his claim.

"So he has said two things. The governor says he has
not received records sought by him and in the same breath
maintains the cabinet decision requesting him to drop the
prosecution proceedings amounts to a thief complaining against
the police. It is very evident now. It is a clear case of a
prejudiced mindset occupying the highest position in the
state," Suresh Kumar said, taking a dig at Bhardwaj.

Bhardwaj was also dismissive of BJP`s threat of
protest against him, saying "all these things are part of
today`s politics. I am not scared of that".

Ministers V Somanna, Basavaraj Bommai, C M Udasi, M P
Renukacharya, R Ashoka and Chief Whip B N Jeevaraj were
present.

PTI