Bangalore: Heeding to appeals from top
BJP leaders, Santosh Hegde on Saturday agreed to withdraw his
resignation as Karnataka Lokayukta, bringing relief to an
embarrassed Yeddyurappa government which he had accused of
being indifferent to corruption.
Stung by Hegde`s sudden decision to quit, BJP went
into an overdrive to persuade him to continue as the anti-
corruption watchdog, with party president Nitin Gadkari
himself along with Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa calling on
him shortly after party veteran L K Advani called him up to
reconsider his decision.
"I have decided to withdraw my resignation. If
Governor H R Bhardwaj gives me time, I will meet him tomorrow
to withdraw the resignation," said Hegde, who had repeatedly
refused to budge despite appeals from various quarters in the
past 10 days since he announced his decision to quit.
"I express my heartful thanks to Santosh Hegde," an
elated Gadkari said while Yeddyurappa too thanked Hegde for
agreeing to withdraw the resignation, over which opposition
Congress and JDS mounted a sharp attack on his government.
"Hegde was kind enough to consider enveryone`s request
and agreed to withdraw his resignation," said Yeddyurappa, who
initially had not persuaded the Lokayukta to reconsider his
Hegde, who had come under pressure from political
leaders and intellectuals in the state to reconsider his
decision, finally yielded citing Advani`s appeal and
assurances by Yeddyurappa to address issues raised by him,
including giving suo moto powers to the Lokayukta.
Known for his aggressive crusade against corruption,
Hegde had announced his decision to resign with effect from
August, miffed over BJP government`s "indifference" towards
corruption and not doing enough to arm the Lokayukta with more
"For me Advani is like a father. He was a close friend
of my father (former Lok Sabha Speaker late K S Hegde). I
cannot go against his wish. I have to acceed to his request.
Not for any political reason, but because of my love and
respect for Advani, I have decided to withdraw my
resignation," he said.
Hegde said Gadkari, here to attend a party function
tomorrow, Yeddyurappa and Law Minister Suresh Kumar, met him
and promised to consider certain demands raised by him.
"I am totally happy and satisfied with the assurance".
Asked why he had accepted Advani`s appeal but not that
of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Hegde said "Advani is
like my father while Chidambaram is my younger brother".
Hegde said it was not possible for him earlier to
withdraw his resignation without any assurances.
"I have not withdrawn my resignation because Advani is
in BJP or that the ruling party is BJP," he said. "My
relationship with Advani is different from all other political
leaders. I equate Advani to my father, his word is my command.
I cannot disobey him," he said.
In his appeal issued in Delhi, Advani said "I have
known Justice Santosh Hegde for a long time. He is an eminent
jurist for whom all of us have great respect. As Lokayukta of
Karnataka, he has certain concerns, I am sure the state
government of Karnataka will address them earnestly."
A delegation of BJP headed by its state unit
president K S Eswarappa, Home Minister V S Acharya and Law
Minister yesterday called on Hegde to persuade him to
reconsider his decision, but to no avail.
Hegde said he decided to continue as Lokayukta
trusting the assurances given by the government, but also
warned "if it does not happen, then you know the consequences.
The doors are open, I can come in and I can also go out.
"I am free to walk out. There is no commitment to that