Shettar takes exception to Governor's remarks



Hubli (Kar): Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Sunday took exception to Governor H R Bhardwaj's remarks that there are "tainted ministers" in his cabinet, saying no one can be held guilty until proved otherwise.

"No one can be held guilty unless proved as such," he told reporters at the airport here.

Bhardwaj had said on July 13 that some ministers with "tainted record" had been inducted into the ministry, ignoring his advice to keep out names of those facing court cases.

Shettar, who was accorded a grand welcome at his home town here on his first visit after assuming office as Chief Minister, said he was ready to take on the mantle at a crucial juncture when the state would face Assembly elections in 11 months. "I am ready for this challenge," he said.

He debunked reports he had gone to Delhi to get approval from BJP high command for portfolio allocation to ministers and said he had been to the national capital only to express gratitude to the central leaders after assuming office.

Shettar said his government would accord priority to induct ministers of minority and Backward Class communities.

He said he would give a clean and transparent rule in the state and was committed to take up development work in North Karnataka.

"I have vast experience in governance as I have worked as party president, Speaker and minister. I can give good governance," he added.

Shettar expressed gratitude to BJP central leaders, former Chief Ministers B S Yeddyurappa and Sadananada Gowda and Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa for extending support to him to lead the government.

PTI