Congress MLAs wear helmets to work in Karnataka

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Bangalore, 12 June 2010:  In a potshot at the ruling BJP government, opposition MLAs from the Congress arrived at work this morning wearing helmets. On Friday, the Karnataka Assembly came dangerously close to violence as the government took on the Opposition over the controversial resignation of the state’s ’Lokayukta’ or ombudsman, N Santosh Hegde.

Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge had resigned from as Lokayukta on June 23.  Before that, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and BJP chief Nitin Gadkari had both met Hegde personally to request him to withdraw his resignation.



He did that nearly 10 days after resigning, attributing his change of heart to a phone call from BJP leader LK Advani. While announcing his resignation, Hegde said he was upset with the government’s lack of support in preventing corruption in public administration. He had also highlighted the government’s attempts to sabotage the work of officials who were trying to expose illegal mining in the state. 

The BJP government in Karnataka has repeatedly been embarrassed by allegations of corruption leveled at the Reddy brothers, mining barons who are also ministers.  Both Janardhana and Karunakara Reddy have been accused of misusing their public office to protect and promote the interests of their mining empire. On Friday, Opposition MLAs demanded a CBI inquiry against illegal mining in the state.



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