Bangalore, Dec 20: As the standoff between Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj and the state government continues over the appointment of a new Lokayukta, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda today said the ruling BJP would have no choice but to prepare a new list of candidates if the Governor rejected their their original recommendation.
“I will try to consult the Governor in the next two days (after MLC election) to iron out confusion over Justice Bannurmath's appointment as Karnataka Lokayukta,” Gowda told reporters here.
On their course of action if the Governor rejected the government's recommendation of Justice Bannurmath as the new Lokayukta, Gowda said it would be “inevitable” for the state government to initiate the process of preparing a new list of “eligible” Lokayukta candidates.
The government had recommended the name of Bannurmath, a former Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, to head the Lokayukta but the Governor had asked the government to have a rethink on it after citing allegations of irregularities committed in allotment of a site in his name that surfaced in sections of the media.
Bhardwaj has accused the government of adopting delaying tactics in appointment of a new Lokayukta to “whitewash” criminal cases and had questioned the consultation process in recommending Justice Bannurmath's name to head the anti-corruption watchdog.
Asked if a “head-less” Lokayukta would “help” the State government, he said yesterday: “If the Lokayukta comes and whitewashes these crimes, then what will you do?”, and noted that the Government had recently transferred “good officers” from Lokayukta institution.
“And now they want to whitewash all these cases which have been brought out by the Commission (Lokaykta report on illegal mining),” he had said.
The government in recent weeks indicated that it is firm on its choice and maintained that there are no documents before it suggesting wrong-doing by Justice Bannurmath.