Hazare leads hundreds at ’save ombudsman’ rally in BangaloreDecember 17th, 2011 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, Dec 17 (IANS) Karnataka, the first state in India to set up a Lokaytukta (ombudsman) in 1986, Saturday saw Anna Hazare lead a large rally to save the institution that has been headless for nearly three months now.
Hundreds of people — students, IT professionals, housewives, senior citizens — gathered at the Freedom Park in Bangalore city centre to protest the delay in naming a new Lokayukta.
The appointment has become a raging controversy between the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by D.V. Sadananda Gowda and Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, a veteran Congressman and former union law minister.
Bhardwaj has refused to accept the Gowda cabinet’s choice of former Kerala High Court chief justice S.R. Bannumath to be new Lokayukta as he is caught in a row over building a house in Bangalore on a site meant for civic amenities like park or a building for community use.
Gowda, his ministers as well state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa are insisting that Bhardwaj accept their choice to succeed former Supreme Court judge Shivaraj V. Patil, who quit Sep 19 following a row over claims that he had violated rules to acquire two house sites in Bangalore from two housing societies.
Patil lasted in the office for just over 45 days after succeeding another former Supreme Court judge, N. Santosh Hegde, on Aug 3.
Hegde’s term ended Aug 2 and his July 27 “explosive” report on illegal mining scam led to the fall of the first BJP government in the state, headed by B.S. Yeddyurappa, on July 31. Hegde recommended Yeddyurappa’s trial for corruption in the illegal scam.
Bhardwaj has been asserting in public that he will appoint only a person who is not involved in any controversy.
The governor has also been saying that he has nothing against Bannurmath but since media has reported a controversial action by the former chief justice, he is reluctant to appoint him.
Gowda, however, claims that Bhardwaj has not formally rejected the name of Bannurmath and till then, he cannot look for another nominee.
While Gowda and Bhardwaj slug it out in public, Bannurmath has declined to make any comment on the row.
His silence has prompted a group of prominent Kannada writers, including Jnanpith awardee U.R. Ananthamurthy, to issue an open letter to Bannurmath requesting him to announce he is not interested in taking up the post.
There has been no reaction from Bannurmath even to this appeal, which was issued Thursday.
With no end to the row in sight, India Against Corruption, which under Hazare’s leadership is fighting for a strong Lokapal bill, brought the social activist to Bangalore for Saturday’s rally to save Karnataka Lokayukta.
Besides Hazare, former Lokayukta Hegde and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi, both prominent members of team Anna, and freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy participated in the rally at Freedom Park.
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- It's letter versus spirit of law in Karnataka (Karnataka Newsletter) - Jan 28, 2012
- Everybody joins corruption chorus in Karnataka (Karnataka Newsletter) - Nov 19, 2011
- Karnataka caught in ugly spectacle over Lokayukta - Nov 14, 2011
- Karnataka ombudsman row to end soon, says chief minister - Dec 20, 2011
- Bhardwaj slams Karnataka government over new ombudsman - Dec 19, 2011
- Bhardwaj pats Gowda, may exacerbate BJP bickering - Jan 04, 2012
- Hegde rebuts Yeddyurappa's criticism - Nov 16, 2011
- Karnataka judge Bannurmath denies governor's charges - Feb 07, 2012
- Karnataka assembly rocked over BJP attack on governor - Dec 07, 2011
- Karnataka initiates process for selecting new Lokayukta (Lead) - Feb 07, 2012
- Karnataka government in a fix over illegal mining report - Jan 03, 2012
- No power to name ombudsman on own, says Bhardwaj - Jan 19, 2012
Tags: aug 2, bangalore, bharatiya janata party, bjp government, building a house, chief justice, civic amenities, congressman, controversial action, former supreme court judge, freedom park, gowda, kerala high court, lokayukta, ombudsman, party government, santosh, senior citizens, supreme court judge, union law minister