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Karnataka Government constitutes SIT to investigate Lokayukta Scam

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Justice Y Bhaskar Rao at the swearing-in cermony as Lokayukta chief

By NewsGram Staff Writer

Amidst mounting pressure by opposition parties like BJP and AAP and various social activists to order a CBI probe into graft charges against Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, the state Congress Government has decided to constitute an Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate the matter.

Home Minister K J George made the announcement at Belagavi after the Government received a request for probe by an Independent authority from Resistrar, Lokayukta. The SIT will be headed by Additional Director General of Police (prisons) Kamal Pant.

The Lokayukta had come under the scanner, when the alleged extortion racket had come to light in May, this year.

A government Executive Engineer had complained to Lokayukta SP Sonia Narang of the police wing, that he was being asked by a person identifying himself as Krishna Rao to pay Rs 1 crore to prevent any Lokayukta raid against him.

According to Bangalore Mirror, an investigation led by Sonia Narang has found that at least 192 government officials have been blackmailed by the bribery cartel, having people both inside and outside of Lokayukta.

The internal investigation also points to the possible involvement of Ashwin Rao, the son of Justice Bhaskar Rao and others close to him.

Following the investigation, Karnataka Bar Council and other organizations have asked for the resignation of Justice Bhaskar Rao.

However, Justice Bhaskar Rao has refused to resign stating that his son is innocent and he will await the results from the SIT probe.

Meanwhile, Survarna News, a Kannada news channel has revealed that Sonia Narang led-team is close to submitting its report and arresting those involved before SIT even begins to investigate.

Apart from Krishna Rao, the team has unearthed three more people who are allegedly involved in the extortion racket: Srinivasa Gowda, Shankare Gowda and Hotte Krishna.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)