Karnataka CM cracks whip for graft-free governance

Bangalore, June 18 (IANS) In an attempt to restore the sagging image of Karnataka, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told top officials that they would be held accountable if a clean, efficient and corruption-free governance was not ensured in day-to-day administration.

"I have strictly told all officials, especially deputy commissioners and superintendent of police in districts, to focus on administration and ensure efficient delivery of services to bring about a change in the perception of the people about governance, failing which they will be held responsible," Siddaramaiah said here Tuesday.

In his maiden interaction with editors of newspapers and bureau chiefs of news agencies a month after he assumed office, Siddaramaiah said his top priority was to change the image of the administration, which took a severe beating during the previous BJP government due to series of scams, scandals and corruption cases against several ministers and officials.

"As people have voted the Congress to power for a change, we are committed to ensure a clean, efficient and corruption-free government. I have firmly told my cabinet colleagues that we must set an example to officials and the people that corruption and inefficiency will not be tolerated at any cost," Siddaramaiah asserted.

Noting that huge corruption took place in transfers, the chief minister said his government had come out with a new policy with strict guidelines to ensure transparent transfers without middlemen and others influencing decisions.

"Similarly, I have directed the police machinery to maintain law and order by being strict with law breakers, act swiftly against unlawful activities and eliminate crimes in cities, especially Bangalore and towns across the state by going after anti-social elements and underworld dons," he said.

The chief minister also warned clubs, bars, discotheques and live bands to comply with rules and timings enforced by the authorities to ensure peace and safety of people, especially women.

"I have instructed police and concerned agencies to curb illegal sand mining and prevent a repeat of mining scams that was rampant in Bellary during the previous regime," Siddaramaiah said.

The chief minister also hinted that district in-charge ministers would be answerable to the people if they do not ensure a clean, efficient and graft-free administration through deputy commissioners, chief executives of local bodies (zilla parishads) and police across the state.

"As we made a solemn promise to the people, we are duty bound to provide transparent and good governance to restore the battered image of the state and revive inclusive growth through socio-economic development."

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