Will announce my decision on Lokpal Bill issue tomorrow: Hegde

Bangalore: Amid mounting pressure from the civil society asking him not to quit the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde on Friday said he would announce his decision on the issue on Saturday.

"I will announce my decision tomorrow," Hegde told PTI, a day after he threatened to quit the panel upset over the "continuous and day-to-day vilification" campaign against civil society activists who are members of the committee.

Hegde, who will be leaving for Delhi tomorrow, said, "I will discuss the issue with my colleagues and then announce my decision in the evening."

Asked about AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh reportedly saying sorry for his remarks against him if it had hurt him, Hegde refused to react, saying he was yet to read it.

On the demand for him to continue on the panel, Hedge said, "Yes I know there is demand for me to continue. My phone has been ringing since early morning and I have had so many people coming over to request the same. But I will speak after my interaction with my colleagues in Delhi," he said.

Meanwhile, members of the civil society today came out in support of Hegde continuing on the panel. The supporters holding placards urged the Lokayukta not to quit. They said his presence was vital as he was aware about the legal procedure and nitty-gritty of combating corruption.

JD-S leader H D Kumaraswamy also urged him not to quit in "national interest".

Hegde faced a similar situation last year when he announced his decision to quit as Lokayukta saying the state government had not acted on his report over illegal mining.

BJP senior leader L K Advani had persuaded him to continue in the post.