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Karnataka Lokayukta resigns over extortion racket linked to son

Bengaluru :As the prospect of his removal loomed large with an impeachment process underway, controversial Karnataka Lokayukta Y Bhaskar Rao has resigned over an alleged extortion racket in the anti-graft ombudsman’s office linked to his son.

Rao bowed out of office after resisting the growing clamour for his exit since the charge against his son Ashwin Rao surfaced. Ashwin has been accused of operating a racket from the ombudsman’s office.

Rao, a former Karnataka High Court Chief Justice, tendered his resignation yesterday and it was accepted by Governor Vajubhai R Vala today, a Raj Bhavan communique said.

“Hon’ble Governor of Karnataka is pleased to accept the resignation of Dr Justice Y Bhaskar Rao, as Lokayukta of Karnataka state with immediate effect,” it said.

Rao, who initially put up a brave front insisting he would quit only when his son is proved guilty, was on a long leave since July last. The Special Investigation Team probing the scandal had arrested Ashwin Rao regarding the case.

A motion moved by BJP and JDS and also supported by the ruling Congress seeking the removal of Rao is pending before the Karnataka Assembly. The Speaker Kagodu Thimappa is said to be considering it before referring the issue to the Karnataka High Court Chief Justice to take the process forward.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, whose government was accused of being soft towards Bhaskar Rao told reporters here, “It is only proper that he has resigned. He had to resign, he has resigned.”

Opposition BJP leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said it was a victory for the struggle by the Opposition and wanted Bhaskar Rao to be made an accused in the case.

Home Minister G Parameshwara said there were set procedures for the appointment of a new Lokayukta and the government would move accordingly.