Former law minister Hans Raj Bhardwaj’s exit from office as Karnataka’s governor and chancellor of universities following the end of his tenure was greeted with “good riddance” on a blog post by a former vice-chancellor of the Bangalore University on Saturday. In an entry on his personal blog, M S Thimmappa launched a scathing attack on Bhardwaj’s handling of universities in Karnataka during his tenure.
Thimmappa accused Bhardwaj of running down universities in the state, especially through the appointment of persons with dubious records as V-Cs.
“At last, now, the viciously audacious era of Bharadwaj (sic) ends. Hope he will not be offered any opportunity further where his possible congenital defect would surface and sully the noble cause of our democratic institutions,” Thimmappa, who retired as V-C in 2006, wrote in a post titled ‘Bharadwaj Brandish Bow Out at last’.
Bhardwaj’s term comes to an end on June 29 and he is set to be temporarily replaced by Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah, who will be sworn in on Sunday at Raj Bhavan.
In his blog, Thimmappa said Bhardwaj “flouted established norms, conventions and laws with alacrity, especially in the appointment of V-Cs to universities, and got away with it thanks to flaws in our political and legal systems… and the lack of concern for probity in public life on the part of powers that be.
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“Bharadwaj promoted and nurtured mediocrity and people with allegation of committing criminal acts were appointed as leaders in the institutions of higher learning,” he added.
In one case, Bhardwaj appointed a person facing trial on charges of criminal acts as V-C in spite of objections by a member of the search committee, Thimmappa alleged, adding that the appointment was made without government concurrence.
In another instance, Bhardwaj appointed as V-C “a person with mediocre academic achievement, who misrepresented his academic credential to the search committee”, he further alleged.
Bhardwaj also flouted norms while nominating members to the search committee to find V-Cs, he wrote.
“Government of the day has become a silent spectator to governor’s doings, in spite of having a comfortable majority on its own, it is unable to discipline the errant chancellor, which reflects the rot that has set in governance and the meekness of the ruler in it,” Thimmappa wrote. “I hope better days — achche din — will come to the chancellor office in Karnataka.”
Bhardwaj was appointed governor of Karnataka in 2009 by the UPA government, shortly after the BJP came to power in the state in 2008.