Karnataka Governor turns to Centre over mining row

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NEW DELHI, 13 July 2010: With Karnataka Assembly continuing to be rocked over the alleged illegal mining issue, state Governor H R Bharadwaj on Tuesday said nobody can be given license to indulge in corruption and that he would not shirk from his responsibilities. "You can’t have corruption. Nobody can be given license to do corruption," he told reporters here after a breakfast meeting with President Pratibha Patil during which he is believed to have discussed the political situation in the state.


Without taking anybody’s name, the Governor said the issues involved the integrity and probity of those in high offices. "I have addressed the issue to the chief minister. I have told him you have appointed the ministers and you should take action. He says I need time. He doesn’t say it is not happening," Bharadwaj said. When reporters raised the issue of Reddy brothers and illegal mining, Bharadwaj said it was a big issue and he has already referred the issue (disqualification of the brothers) to the Election Commission for a decision.


He said an inquiry by CBI or some other agency should be held. "I respect Santosh Hegde (Karnataka Lokayukta). Lokpal is there but... no work. I have to see that rule of law should prevail." The Governor said he sends regular reports to the Central government and has kept the Home Minister informed. "I am a Governor. I know my responsibilities. I will not shirk from my responsibilities. Whatever the people feel I also feel," he said, adding in certain areas he cannot take action but only the chief minister can do.


Bhardwaj said that he has taken serious note of the political happenings in the state and has informed the chief minister about his concerns as well as the Central government. He would be meeting home minister P Chidambaram tomorrow to apprise him of the latest situation in the state. Replying to a question on the law and order situation in the state, he said there was no problem on that front as Karnataka is a peaceful state. "But this is only a controversy regarding four-five ministers who are indulging in illegal mining and making huge profits", the Governor said.


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