Karnataka Congress asks BJP Govt to amend Lokayukta Act

With the Supreme Court upholding appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat, Karnataka unit of Congress today urged the BJP Government here to amend the relevant Act to arm the Governor with powers to appoint the anti-corruption watchdog head in the state.

KPCC President G Parameshwara urged Governor H R Bhardwaj to direct the government to amend the existing act.

Under the present Lokayukta Act, the Governor will appoint Lokayukta on the advise by the government.

The post of Lokayukta in Karnataka has remained vacant since September 2011 after retired supreme court judge Shivaraj Patil quit in the wake of allegations of securing allotment of a residential site violating norms by him.

Supreme Court yesterday upheld the appointment of Lokayukta by the Gujarat Governor, which had been challenged by Narendra Modi Government.

Speaking to reporters here, Parameshwara demanded that the government ask the Governor to appoint a Lokayukta in the state "if it (government) is serious on the issue".

He also suggested promulgation of an ordniance to amend the act.

Congress, eyeing to return to power in Karnataka in coming assembly elections, announced it would undertake four padayatras across the state including one to create awareness on the benefits of the Constitution amendment to Article 371 J which brings special benefits to backward North Karnataka region, Parameshwar said.

The padaytra which would commence from January 7 will be held over a period of three months, Parameshwara said.

Parameshwar said that the first padayatra would begin from the "illegal mining hotspot" Hospet to Koodalasangama from January 7 to 14 to highlight the state government's "failure" to expediate projects under Upper Krishna Project.

He alleged that nearly 159 tmc ft of water is being released to Andhra Pradesh unutilised.

The second padayatra would start in February from Basavakalyana to Jewargi to "enlighten" people that the Centre was behind granting special status to Hyderabad-Karnataka region under Article 371 of the Constitution, he said.

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