Count me out for political campaigns: Santosh Hegde

Published: 06th September 2012 11:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2012 11:05 AM   |  A+A-

Mass sentiment in favour of Team Anna taking the plunge to launch a political outfit does not touch core member and former justice of Supreme Court, N.Santosh Hegde.

Hegde was in the city for a lecture series on 'The Power of Inspiration' at GITAM University. The former Lokayukta of Karnataka washed his hands off politics.

“There is nothing wrong with politics but with politicians. I am still a part of Team Anna but they can count me out for political campaigns,” justice Santosh Hegde said here on Wednesday, whose report on irregularities in iron-ore mining in Bellary rocked the state government.

Calling it an inopportune time for Team Anna to flirt with politics, the former solicitor general of India said, "Anna Hazare might call a meeting of the core members to discuss the issue and I am waiting for it. At present, the team lacks the infrastructure and does not know the depth of the electorate.

"In defense of movement, Hegde gave Team Anna the credit for awakening the political conscience of people.

"The Jan Lokpal bill will be cleared before the election year of 2014," he observed.

However, the fight against corruption is long drawn and the Lokayukta's recommendations on closure of illegal mines and rehabilitation of villages affected by the indiscriminate exploitation of resources have not been taken into consideration.

“I do not know whether my report has gone to cold-storage or waste-paper basket. Though mining operations were closed for six months in some of the areas, around 17 mines are still functioning,” Hegde observed on the 'Republic of Bellary'.

He added that at a time when the entire state is reeling under drought, the amount of money spent on foreign 'study tour' of 14 MLAs from the state indicates the maladministration rampant in governance.

"It is shameful and the money should be recovered from them," he said. Commenting on the 'Tragic figure' report on Manmohan Singh by Washington Post, the former justice felt that it was a fair criticism of the prime minister.

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