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Congress demands action on Lokayukta phone tap


Bangalore : The Congress Sunday urged Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to take action against the B.S. Yeddyurappa government over the alleged tapping of Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde’s phone.

“The governor has assured us that he will act according to the law,” state Congress chief G. Parameshwara told reporters here after he and other party leaders met Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan.

Bhardwaj, however, told reporters on the margins of a function: “I have no role to play in the matter.”

But “if Lokayukta wants me to act, then I can. The issue of phone tapping is between the Lokayukta and those who did it,” the governor said.

The Congress has intensified demand for Yeddyurappa’s resignation over Hegde’s phone-tapping. On Saturday, it staged a rally in Bangalore.

Hegde is to submit his report on illegal mining naming Yeddyurappa, four of his ministers including two Reddy brothers, former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, Congress Rajya Sabha member and mining baron Anil Lad and others in a few days.

The Lokayukta suspects that because his phone was tapped for several months, the contents of the report have been leaked to the media.

However, he was not filing a formal complaint with the police over it as he does not want attention to be diverted from his findings on illegal mining.

Yeddyurappa, who is holidaying in Mauritius, has meanwhile contested the Lokayukta’s findings and ruled out his resignation.

NDTV quoted him as saying there was “not a shred of evidence in charges against me”.

Yeddyurappa said he was “disappointed” at Hedge’s charge of phone-tapping. “Santosh Hegde shouldn’t have spoken about his report till it is made public.”

The chief minister is expected to reach New Delhi Monday for talks with senior leaders on his fate following Lokayukta naming him in the report on illegal mining.

The report also says the chief minister’s sons and son-in-law financially benefited from firms involved in illegal mining.