Bangalore: Congress party on Friday jumped into the support of Justice Santosh Hegde, who put in his paper two days back citing BJP-led Karnataka government`s "indifferent attitude" towards fighting corruption.
Reacting on the issue, Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, “We demand a probe into the politician-mafia nexus in Karnataka at all levels. We also demand that the state government should immediately take steps to persuade Justice Hegde to reconsider his decision to quit.”
The reactions from Congress came shortly after Hegde said that his decision to quit the post of Lokayukta was final and there was no political motive behind it.
"No political motive should be ascribed to it," Hegde said adding that he did not want to blackmail the BJP government in Karnataka.”
Hegde, an anti-corruption crusader, who has been flooded with requests urging him to reconsider his action, said, "This is my personal decision and it is final."
Union Home Minister P Chidambaram spoke to Hegde requesting him not to press his resignation in the interest of the people of Karnataka, saying this would only encourage the "corrupt elements" in the state.
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 the Home Minister`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 influence me."
Soon after submitting his resignation to the Governor, Hegde had said he had no regrets over quitting office.
The anti-corruption body head had also demanded an increase in powers to tackle corruption citing the political party’s election manifesto. Interpreting Chief Minister Yeddyurappa’s statement saying, “I cannot commit myself on the matter” as a refusal, Hegde questioned why could not a Cabinet meet be held and orders passed.
Reacting to the comment, Hegde had said, "These are only excuses or rather a way of being polite in saying, I will not give it...It means that they do not want to give it."