BANGALORE: Hurt by ''personal and reckless'' allegations of Governor H R Bhardwaj who rejected the BJP Government''s recommendation for his appointment as Lokayukta, former Kerala high court chief justice S R Bannurmath today opted out of the post ending the three-month long stand-off.
Launching a tirade against Bhardwaj a day after he ''formally'' rejected his appointment, Bannurmath questioned the motive behind the action of Governor. He said Bhardwaj citing reasons other than alleged land scam linking him can be seen as "a ploy to give way for other political consideration".
Maintaining that the continued attack in the press on his integrity and character were totally based on "false, baseless, legally untenable and hurtful allegations", he told reporters here that he had requested Chief Minister D V Sadananada Gowda not to consider him for the post.
"I have lost mental peace and my health is affected on account of false and baseless allegations affecting my image and reputation in the eyes of the public. I am not in a position to bear this torture and humiliation any more," he said reading out from his letter to Gowda.
Bhardwaj, who had insisted on ''spotless'' candidate for the Lokayukta post, had expressed reservations over Bannurmath''s choice citing a land allotment controversy involving him.
The post of Lokayukta has remained vacant since September 19 after former Supreme Court Judge Shivaraj Patil, who succeeded Santosh Hegde, quit in the wake of allegations of getting land allotment in violation of rules. `
Karnatka is the second BJP ruled state after Gujarat to be rocked by a row involving the Governor on the appointment of Lokayukta. Gujarat has moved the Supreme Court questioning the Governor''s action in appointing Lokayukta unilaterally without consulting the state government.
Gowda said the government would soon set in motion the process to look for another candidate for the Lokayukta post.
He said the letter written by Bannurmath, requesting him not to pursue his name for the Lokayukta post, reached him last night. The government would take up the exercise of eliciting the opinion of Presiding officers of both houses, floor leaders of the legislatures and the state High Court Chief Justice in selecting a judge to head the Lokayukta institution, the Chief Minister said.