Bangalore: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde told CNN-IBN that he took serious offence to Digvijay Singh's comment and the decision regarding pulling out of him will be taken in a meeting on Saturday.
Deepa Balakrishnan: There has been an apology issued to you by Digvijay Singh. How do you react to that?
Santosh Hegde: I don't know what apology is this...I have not heard of it till now. But, anyway, I am not one who is asking for any apology. Earlier also one Union minister commented on my performance, and what my performance is...I think the people of Karnataka know. And what action I have taken against the government headed by the Chief Minister of Karnataka is also people know. We have done some work in the field of prevention of corruption, but may not be at the satisfaction level of many people.
Deepa Balakrishnan: You said that you expected an apology over here...
Santosh Hegde: No, no, the statement has been made; the damage has been done...now you can't take away the mental agony that I went through. When a former chief minister and general secretary of a leading party in the country, which is in power, making such a statement, then I must proceed on the basis that it has blessings of the people at higher level.
Deepa Balakrishnan: The Congress has now told its spokespersons not to air this kind of opinion in public. Do you think it is too late?
Santosh Hegde: It's first time you are telling me...no other media has told me that the Congress has issued direction to its spokespersons like that. Well, if it is done...OK, better late than never. We can never go on functioning without much embarrassment or people's comment. Of course it can come through other sources, which can't be attributable to any person or any political party, which we can't avoid...people may have different opinions on a matter.
Deepa Balakrishnan: Will you stay on in the panel?
Santosh Hegde: That decision will be taken tomorrow (Saturday). We will be meeting 4 o'clock tomorrow. I have told that Annaji is also coming there and we have many things to discuss, and we will take some decisions on the same.
However, Digvijay Singh has denied that he has targeted Hegde's intent or integrity.