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Karnataka speaker to decide on Lokayukta deposition move, says Siddaramaiah

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Congress government in Karnataka on Sunday said it will wait for the legislative assembly speaker’s ruling on opposition lawmakers’ move to oust the Lokayukta following a bribery charge against his son.

“It is for Speaker Kogadu Thimmappa to decide on the opposition move to remove Lokayukta Justice Y. Bhaskar Rao, though we have set up a special team to probe the graft charges against some officials in the institution and a Rs.1 crore bribe charge against his son Ashwin Rao,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters on Sunday.

About 60 Bharatiya Janata Party and Janata Dal-Secular legislators jointly submitted a memo to the speaker on July 3 for Rao’s removal under the Karnataka Lokayukta Act, 1984, which empowers the state legislature to do so.

“We will abide by the speaker’s decision, as we are not protecting anyone and will allow the law to take its course. As per the Act, the house only has the power to remove the ombudsman. It is also up to Rao to decide whether to step down or not,” Siddaramaiah said on the margins of a function here.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar of the BJP said corruption charges against the very institution that was set up to check graft was a body blow to democracy and weakens the crusade against such crimes.

“As Rao failed to prevent some Lokayukta officials and his son from being accused of taking bribes, he should step down till the probe is completed or the state government should ask him to support our demand,” Shettar told reporters after a party meeting.

The state legislature’s 10-day monsoon session is on since June 29 at Belagavi, 510 km from Bengaluru.

According to the speaker’s office, the business advisory committee will decide on Monday on the admission, discussion and ruling upon the opposition’s plea.

The opposition members had also submitted a similar memo on June 2 to legislative council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy for Rao’s ouster.

The state government had set up the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on June 30, under Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Kamal Pant on the ombudsman’s request on June 29 after city crime branch Joint Commissioner M. Chandra Shekar on June 27 declined to conduct the probe, as his father-in-law was facing a Lokayukta inquiry in a corruption case.

The Karnataka High Court on July 1 also allowed the SIT to conduct the probe and stayed an internal inquiry ordered by Upa Lokayukta Subhash B. Adi against some unidentified officials in the anti-graft watchdog and Ashwin Rao on a report by Lokayukta Superintendent of Police Sonia Narang in May.

(With inputs from IANS)

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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)