Bhardwaj hits out against corruption on R’Day (Second Lead)By IANS
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
BANGALORE - Pomp, pageantry and patriotic spirit marked the 62nd Republic Day Wednesday in Karnataka as Governor H.R. Bhardwaj hoisted the tricolour and inspected the guard of honour here while urging people to root out corruption.
Amid tight security with a cool breeze wafting over the Field Marshal Manekshaw parade ground, the governor unfurled the national flag while thousands of rose petals were showered from a chopper overhead that had the crowd cheering and applauding.
Clad in a bandgala white suit and sporting a rose in the pocket, Bhardwaj inspected the guard of honour by going around the parade ground in an open jeep. The national and state anthems reverberated in the stadium.
Contingents of army, navy and air force participated in the impressive march past followed by battalions of the Border Security Force (BSF), Karnataka State Reserve Police, National Cadet Corps and boys and girls from Bharat Scouts and Guides.
Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, opposition leader Siddaramiah and a few cabinet ministers were present on the occasion.
Despite the growing stand-off between the governor and the chief minister over land scams and corruption charges faced by the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state, both the leaders greeted each other and exchanged pleasantries.
However, Bhardwaj spoke out against corruption in strong words.
“Corruption is an anti-thesis to rule of law and good governance. It can nullify benefits of development. We cannot afford to have this glaring deficiency in our system,” Bhardwaj said in his address to mark the 62nd Republic Day celebrations here.
Bhardwaj said society would have to participate in this effort in a sustained manner.
“Fortunately, the office of Lokayukta (Ombudsman) is trying its best to deal with corruption. Eternal vigilance is the price we have to pay for the success of democracy,” he told about 5,000 people gathered at the sprawling military ground.
Cautioning people against complacency in tackling corruption, the governor said the country could not afford to indulge in such illegal activity when India was looking forward to play a role in global affairs.
“Though we also have a very informed, enlightened and vigilant civil society, we cannot afford to be complacent in order to secure sustained development,” the governor said in his 25-minute address.
Bhardwaj’s stress on fighting corruption comes in the backdrop of his sanction to prosecute Yeddyurappa Jan 21 based on a petition by two lawyers over alleged irregularities in denotification of land and housing sites to his kith and kin.
The two-hour long function concluded on a peaceful note with about 1,000 boys and girls from schools showcasing the state’s rich cultural heritage through folk dances and college students re-enacting historical battles waged by Tipu Sultan, Kittur Rani Chennamma and Sangolli Rayanna against the British.
According to reports from across the state, the day was celebrated in district headquarters with flag-hoisting, ceremonial parades and cultural programmes.