BJP leader dares Karnataka ombudsman over charge


Bangalore : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader V. Dhananjaya Kumar Monday denied he had tried to influence Karnataka’s Lokayukta (ombudsman) to spare Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa in his report on illegal mining.

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The Lokayutka, N. Santosh Hegde, had told reporters last week that Kumar had asked him not to mention Yeddyurappa in his repot on illegal mining to be submitted later this month.

“I have not discussed any political matters with the Lokayukta and I am ready for any probe into the issue and am ready to face any action against me if proved guilty,” Kumar, a former central minister and now the Karnataka government’s special representative at New Delhi, told reporters here Monday.

Hegde, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, had claimed that Kumar along with state higher education minister V.S. Acharya and another person had met him at his house here.

While Acharya discussed general issues, Kumar had “asked me not to mention Yeddyurappa in my report on illegal mining,” Hegde had said without mentioning when the incident took place.

Like Kumar, Acharya too denied that an attempt was made to influence Hegde.

“I have high regard for Hegde whose father (late K.S. Hegde) was a senior BJP leader. It is true that I met Hegde at his house in Bangalore but did not discuss political matters,” Kumar asserted.

He said “this is an attempt by our political rivals to destabilize the BJP government. At this time I cannot reveal all but I am sure time will bring out the truth.”

Yeddyurappa declined to react to the growing row between his party and Hegde, whose term expires on August 2 before which he is to submit his “explosive” report on illegal mining in the state.

“I do not want to comment,” he told reporters here Monday.