Rejecting allegations of bias in sanctioning the prosecution of Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, governor HR Bhardwaj on Sunday said he could not have turned a blind eye to the massive corruption in the state.
"It’s a passion for some people to criticise me but even they know full well that what they are defending is simply indefensible and that there are documented acts of corruption which have cost the state nearly Rs. 500 crore,” Bhardwaj said.
On the BJP’s charge that he was bound to have considered the advice of the state cabinet even if to ignore it, the governor replied: “Please ask them to get their facts right. Have they forgotten that the state cabinet sent me an aggressively worded resolution on Thursday, virtually directing me not to grant sanction to prosecute the chief minister?”
On the allegation that his action was improper since there was no inquiry report indicting Yeddyurrappa, the governor said: “Isn’t it strange?
First, efforts were made to scuttle the probe being conducted by the lokayukta by forming a separate probe panel of a retired high court judge. Last year, were not conditions created that forced the lokayukta to resign and then he was persuaded to stay on with promises which later turned out to be false?”
Bhardwaj said the allegations of denotification and preferential allotment of land by the CM were in the public domain since September last year and his repeated reminders seeking information from the state government were ignored.
“When there are allegations against the chief minister, who would carry out the probe?
Let us not be fooled. I am fully aware of the constitutional and legal position about granting sanction for prosecution. The law is clear and precedents have been followed,” he said.
“Even national leaders of the political party in power in the state who met in a bid to defuse tension arising from irresponsible comments by their state leaders merely sought time to settle the issue. None of them said what I was doing was wrong,” Bhardwaj pointed out.
Reacting to the BJP allegations of acting as a Congress agent and of his controversial tenure as law minister, he said: “Let them point out a single observation against me in my entire career as a law minister spanning over 15 years in three different governments, leave alone any stricture or an indictment.”