Hegde sticks to resignation, Yeddyurappa unmoved


Bangalore: Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Thursday hinted he was in no mood to persuade Lok Ayukta (ombudsman) N. Santosh Hegde to take back his resignation.

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Hegde too reiterated that he would not withdraw his resignation, though opposition parties and various organizations mounted pressure on him not to quit and attacked the Yeddyrappa government for not meeting the Lok Ayukta demand for more teeth to fight corruption.

Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, to whom Hegde submitted the resignation Wednesday, said Thursday that the former Supreme Court judge had not yielded to his suggestion not to quit.

Yeddyurappa was apparently upset that Hegde resigned two days ahead of a public show the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government had planned to celebrate its two years in office. Yeddyurappa assumed power in May 2006.

“This development has taken place ahead of the ‘Sadhana Samavesha’ (convention on achievements of his government being organized here Friday). I am pained,” Yeddyurappa told a press conference here.

Virtually bidding good bye to Hegde, the chief minister said “I thank him for the good work he has done. I do not want to embarrass him in any way, now that he has taken this decision.”

Hegde, who has been conducting raids to expose corrupt officials, received support from pro-Kannada groups, farmers’ organizations and sections of lawyers besides opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular parties.

Lawyers in some places in the state boycotted court proceedings to urge Hegde to continue in the post while pro-Kannada groups held demonstrations in Bangalore and Mysore.

Leaders of farmers’ organizations addressed press meets in Mysore and other places demanding the Yeddyurappa government meet Lok Ayukta’s demands and urged Hegde to take back his resignation.

But Yeddyurappa indicated he was in no mood to yield.

“He is a senior person, has been a judge of the Supreme Court. Now that he has taken a decision, I do not want to embarrass him in any way,” he said responding to reporters on whether he would persuade Hegde to stay put.