Will not be part of phone-tapping probe panel: Santosh Hegde

Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde
Bangalore, Jul 26: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde today(Jul 26) described as a "political game" Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa's appeal to the Prime Minister to constitute a committee to inquire into the alleged phone-tapping scandal.

"I am the complainant in the case. I sit in an enquiry?", quipped Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, who last week claimed that his phone had been tapped, sparking a political uproar.

Yeddyurappa wrote a letter to the Prime Minister yesterday requesting him to appoint a committee headed by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, with former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda and Hegde as the other members.

Making it clear that he would not be a part of the proposed panel, Hegde, a member of joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill, said, "These are all things...the games played by politicians..."

Hegde''s claim last week that his phone was tapped following leakage of his report on illegal mining -- which he is due to submit on Wed -- has snowballed into a major political issue. The Opposition has been targeting the Yeddyurappa government, asking the Chief Minister to take moral responsibility and quit.

Yeddyurappa said yesterday that if phone-tapping charges against his government are proved, he would quit his post and retire from politics.

"Even the idea of tapping the phone of such eminent authorities is unimaginable and I am personally pained that the Government is being unfairly blamed in the matter," the Chief Minister said in the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


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