More than a week after Karnataka Lok Ayukta N. Santosh Hegde quit in frustration at the state government's indifference to fighting corruption, several ministers and leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met him Friday and asked him to reconsider but failed.
Hegde, a retired Supreme Court judge, stuck to his stand that his resignation was final and ministers meeting him now would not change his decision.
State BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa led a delegation of Home Minister V.S. Acharya, Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar, and IT Minister Katta Subramanya Naidu to Hegde's residence in upscale Sadashivanagar to urge him to stay back.
Eshwarappa told reporters after the meeting that his team had briefed Hegde about the steps being taken to check corruption, particularly illegal mining, in the state. He said the team was confident that Hegde, who quit June 23, will consider their appeal to him to continue.
Hegde later told reporters the meeting was cordial but there was no question of him taking back the resignation.
He reiterated that he had not taken the decision to leave, a year ahead of the end of his five-year term, on the spur of the moment, but had thought over it long and hence the decision was final.
Hegde has requested Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to accept the resignation with effect from Aug 31 as he wants to complete several reports, including the second and final part of the report on illegal mining.
The decision of the ruling BJP to make an effort to persuade Hegde was a sort of climb-down as Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had indicated to reporters a day after the ombudsman's resignation that he will not make any effort to persuade the former apex court judge to stay on.
"I thank him for the good work. I do not want to embarrass him in any way," he had said when asked whether he intends to cajole Hegde to stay back.
Eshwarappa led the team to Hegde after a meeting of party leaders and ministers at Yeddyurappa's personal residence in the upmarket Dollars Colony, so named as large number of residential plots in the area were sold to Non-Resident Indians paying for them in foreign currency.