BANGALORE: Reiterating that he will not buckle under pressure resulting in the weakening of the office of the Lokayukta in the state, Governor H R Bharadwaj stressed the need for restoration of probity in public life. He was delivering his Republic Day address at the Manekshaw Parade Grounds here on Thursday. “The Karnataka Lokayukta has rendered exemplary service and won laurels to the state; I will thwart any attempt to dilute this institution,” he averred, while calling for the agency’s independence.
The Governor, during his address, pointed out at the strong public discontent, urging that it be addressed at the earliest. Informing that Karnataka occupies a place of pride among Indian states, he also called for the independence of the police department. “We need to work on ensuring independence of police administration and providing security of tenure keeping in mind the recommendations of National Police Commission. We should strive to build strong institutions which will outlive their founders.”
Bhardwaj stated that unity in diversity - the core character of a pluralistic society such as India’s - must not be disturbed at all. He dwelt at length on the need to maintain vigil on fringe elements which, in his opinion, are “working overtime to disturb peace and harmony”.
Turning his attention to the economic front, he said that Karnataka is one of the fastest growing economies, which has brought with it newer challenges.
“This has resulted in competition and pressure on natural resources leading to conflict,” he said.
Complimenting the state government for implementing various e-Governance measures, he addressed: “The government should move ahead fast enough to provide hassle-free services,” the Governor said.
He lauded the government for initiating measures to set up independent authorities to evaluate its development programmes efficiently and make further improvements in it. “The state government needs to be also lauded for creating a separate cadre of panchayat development officers by providing Group-B officers for the panchayat institutions,” he said.
He advised the government to make use of its varied agro-climate zones and provide more jobs and higher incomes on a sustainable basis.
However, the Governor called upon the government to take measures to control malnutrition among children, and evolve a roadmap to achieve inclusive growth, in addition to providing quality education and health care facilities. The severe power crisis, too, did not escape his attention. He said that the state must mitigate the crisis expediently.
Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah among other officers were also present.