Bangalore: Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj
today said he would not allow "toning down" and "downgrading"
of Lokayukta institution in the state as he stuck to his
position that the government`s recommendation on the new head
to the anti-corruption body is not acceptable to him.
"I don`t go back on my words. Whatever I have said will be
done. But I have to give opportunity to the government and
when they are open to dialogue we will see that (we will be
able) to reconcile", he told reporters on the sidelines of a
The state government had recommended SR Bannurmath,
former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, for the post but
Bhardwaj asked it to suggest some other names, citing reports
about controversial land allotment to Bannurmath.
Earlier this month, the Governor had also said: "I will
give you the Supreme Court judgement against the gentleman
(Bannurmath). But I don`t want to say publicly because he is a
former Chief Justice".
The government has maintained that it can take a call on
the new name only after the Governor rejected its
recommendation on Bannurmath.
Bhardwaj said on Friday: "I have explained to you: this is
an institution of integrity. I will not tone down Lokayukta in
Karnataka. And the national mood also is the same that we
should upgrade these institutions rather than downgrade them".
The post of Lokayukta is lying vacant since early September
after Shivraj Patil, who succeeded Santosh Hegde, resigned as
the anti-corruption watchdog in the wake of allegations of
irregularities in securing allotment of government land.