Hegde to stay, says canít ignore father-like Advani


After two days of sustained pressure from the BJP top brass in Karnataka and New Delhi, former Supreme Court judge and Karnataka Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde announced on Saturday that he had decided to withdraw his resignation from the post.

Justice Hegde had handed over his resignation to Governor H R Bhardwaj on June 23 in protest against the BJP government's "indifference" towards corruption in Karnataka.

Worried that the move would cast a shadow on its government, the BJP has been trying to get Hegde to change his mind, with L K Advani putting his weight behind the appeals by the party on Saturday. The BJP leaders reportedly told the Lokayukta that the state government would take measures to tackle corruption, especially with regard to illegal mining.

The Lokayukta himself said it was a request by Advani, a close friend of Justice Hegde's family, that persuaded him to reconsider. Advani was a friend of Hegde's father, the late Justice K S Hegde, a former BJP vice-president and Lok Sabha speaker. He had quit as a judge and entered politics after he was superceded to the post of the Chief Justice of India by former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

"The respect I have for L K Advani has forced me to withdraw my resignation. It is not out of political pressure," Hegde said of the BJP leader, who had some time ago flown into Karnataka to attend a ceremony held in remembrance of K S Hegde. Advani also assured Justice Hegde that the Karnataka government would consider strengthening the powers of the Lokayukta ó as promised by the party in its election manifesto.

"For me Advani is like a father. He was a close friend of my father. I cannot go against his wish. I have to accede to his request. Not for any political reason, but because of my love and respect for Advani, I have decided to withdraw my resignation," he said.

... contd.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on indianexpress.com are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, indianexpress.com reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.