Govt wants to whitewash criminal cases: Bhardwaj

Bangalore: Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj today accused the government of adopting delaying tactics in appointment of a new Lokayukta to "whitewash" criminal cases and questioned the consultation process in recommending the name of S R Bannurmath to head the anti-corruption watchdog.

Asked if the Government is indulging in deliberate delay, Bhardwaj told reporters, "This will be explosive material if I speak about the motives. Is there any doubt about what Santosh (Hegde, a former Karnataka Lokayukta) said yesterday?. All these motives, this is just to help those criminals."

"If the Lokayukta comes and whitewashes these crimes, then what will you do?" he said when asked if a "head-less" Lokayukta would "help" the state government. Bhardwaj also alleged that the government had recently transferred "good officers" from the Lokayukta institution.

"And now they want to whitewash all these cases which have been brought out by the Commission (Lokaykta report on illegal mining)," he said.

The government had recommended the name of Bannurmath, a former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, to head the Lokayukta but the Governor questioned the recommendation, citing allegations against Bannurmath that surfaced in sections of the media.

The government in recent weeks indicated that it's firm on its choice and maintained that there are no documents before it suggesting wrong-doing by Bannurmath.