I brought out a bitter truth, says Hegde

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N Santosh Hegde
Bangalore, Aug 2: N Santosh Hegde today (Aug 2) retired as Karnataka Lokayukta after an "eventful" five years in office and said effort by some ministers to discredit his mining report that cost B S Yeddyurappa his chair was not unexpected as he has brought out a ''bitter truth''.

"...when a bitter truth is brought out, it has its own reaction. Reaction of political circles is self-suiting," the former Supreme Court judge told PTI.

"No person who has been found fault with will ever say that the report is good." Ever since the BJP high-command asked Yeddyurappa to quit office after being indicted by the Lokayukta report, ministers loyal to him, particularly M P Renukacharya and V Somanna, have been critical of the report, and questioned it for "not indicting those in the previous Congress regimes".

Asked to respond to this, Hegde said there wasn't much of illegal mining between 2000 and 2004 as the export demand was being met with plenty of iron fines available, adding, illegalities started thereafter.

"People who were doing it (illegal mining) were pointed out and not the ones who gave the permit (mining leases) and that's why you don''t find many politicians being named in the report," he said.

The Lokayukta report, that created a political upheaval throwing up the worst ever crisis to the BJP's first ever government in the south, estimated that the loss to state exchequer because of illegal mining between 2006 and 2010 at Rs 16,085 crore.

Hegde said he is retiring with a mixed feeling - ''sweet and bitter''. 

"Bitter because very many things which should have happened, did not happen," Hegde said, specifically pointing to his first report on illegal mining submitted to the government in December 2008 which was not acted upon.

"Had action been taken on that (first) report, most probably the second report (submitted last week) would have been a formality," he said.

"Sweet because I was of some help to people who needed help. That gave me a lot of satisfaction," he said.

On his report triggering a political upheaval in the state, Hegde said, "Yes, I am not responsible for it." Tomorrow, he said, he is entering "grahasthashram. I am going to be at home".

PTI

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