Ex-Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde to join Hazare’s stir

In a boost to Anna Hazare’s proposed fast to press his demand on the Lokpal issue, retired Supreme Court judge and former Karnataka Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde today said he would join the social activist’s stir.

The former Solicitor General of India, who was a key part of the Hazare-led anti-corruption movement in 2011, said he was planning to be with the octogenarian in New Delhi on March 23 and extend support to the fast.

Hegde said Hazare had recently invited him during his visit to Bengaluru.

“He (Hazare) told me I should join him. Thereafter, he sent a word with someone else. I have agreed (to join him),” he told PTI, adding, “As long as it (the agitation) is apolitical, I will be with him.”

Hegde said Hazare had indicated that his movement would remain apolitical.

Hazare had repeatedly said in the recent times that he would undertake a fast from March 23 in Delhi, if his demand for passing “proper” bills for the Lokpal, Lokayukta and electoral reforms was not met.
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Hegde said he would participate more actively in the Hazare-led movement, “depending on the issues he raises”.

The former judge said he had “no doubt” that the NDA government was not proactively taking action on the issue of appointment of Lokpal.

Hegde had recently expressed indignation over the delay in the appointment of Lokpal, even four years after the enactment of the law for setting up the anti-corruption institution.

“The party in power (BJP) does not want the anti-corruption ombudsman as it is afraid that if the truth comes out from the Lokpal’s office, it will be in trouble.

“The present prime minister, when he was the chief minister of Gujarat, did not appoint a Lokayukta there. Ultimately, the High Court of Gujarat directed for the appointment. The attitude seems to be the same here (at the Centre),” Hegde had saideconomictimes


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