Bangalore: A day after Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar assumed office, Governor H R Bhardwaj fired his first salvo at him by pointing at “tainted” ministers in his Cabinet. “There are tainted ministers. There should have been an effort to clean up. While wrong persons have been inducted, the right ones are left out. This is not good for the state,” he remarked.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function at Raj Bhavan here on Friday, the Governor was all praise for former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda. “He (Gowda) was a clean and efficient administrator. He was slowly and steadily heading towards providing a clean administration. Shettar should follow his footsteps,” he said. Asked if Shettar will put brakes on what Sadananda Gowda was doing, Bhardwaj opined otherwise.
“I won’t say that. Shettar becoming the CM is a political process. It is too early to evaluate him. Shettar is educated and a lawyer by profession. I can only hope he will give good governance,” he said. Bhardwaj asked the new Chief Minister to focus on tackling the drought in many districts. I have told him to convene a meeting to discuss the drought. There is a dire need to focus on droughtrelief,” he said.
Governor Bhardwaj said he had “learned his lessons” over the long-standing issue of appointment of Lokayukta. He added that he would neither ask nor expect the newly formed government to appoint a Lokayukta. “I don’t want to comment about it and complicate the matter any further. I don’t want to create hostility. You have to read between the lines. If he (Shettar) does not appoint a Lokayukta, then the public will see. If I had powers, I would have appointed one immediately, as it is a matter of public importance,” he said. He added, “I have tried to improve things as Governor of the state. However, they (BJP) have been too adamant.”