BANGALORE: Politics in Karnataka has hit a new low and the politicians’ standard response to graft charges against them is to make counter-allegations, the state’s Lokayukta, Mr N Santosh Hegde said Sunday.
“Low-level politics is on these days in Karnataka. It is allegations and counter-allegations,” said Mr Hegde, a retired judge of the Supreme Court and civil society member of the panel that was set up to draft a Lokpal bill. “Allegations are countered with ‘have you not done the same’ and not clarifications,” he told mediapersons on the margins of a function.
Mr Hegde laughed off attacks on him, now by the Congress and earlier by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“Which political party has not attacked me? Show me a politician who has not leveled allegations against me, I will bow,” he said.
Every since Mr Hegde became a member of the Lokpal bill drafting panel, he has been criticised by Congress leaders, including the central Law Minister, Mr M
Veerappa Moily, and the Congress general secretaries, Mr Digvijay Singh and Mr B K Hariprasad.
Earlier, the BJP president, Mr Nitin Gadkari had said Mr Hegde was “behaving like an opposition leader” in response to the ombudsman’s criticism of the BJP state government for its failure to check illegal iron ore mining.
Even on Sunday, Mr Hegde came under attack from Mr Hariprasad, who questioned why he was not submit the final report on illegal iron ore mining. Launching the second-phase of ‘Congress march to the people’ in Bangalore, Mr Hariprasad wondered why the report was being “delayed”.
In response, Mr Hegde said: “It is in final stages and will be submitted before my term ends”. Mr Hegde’s five-year term ends in August and he has said the report on illegal mining will be “explosive”.