The BJP on Tuesday demanded that President Pratibha Patil should recall Karnataka governor H.R. Bhardwaj for recommending President’s Rule in the state. A delegation of top BJP leaders along with chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and 116 Karnataka MLAs met the President and submitted a memorandum against Mr Bhardwaj. Mr Yeddyurappa also claimed he has 121 MLAs supporting him and that he can prove his majority “anytime and anywhere”.
Mr Yeddyurappa had earlier managed to win over the rebel MLAs who had earlier written letters to the governor withdrawing support to the CM and seeking his ouster. But these same MLAs, in a fresh letter to the governor last week, had reaffirmed their support for Mr Yeddyurappa. Perhaps sensing that the Opposition parties in the state were not in a position to form a new government and that the collapse of Mr Yeddyu-rappa’s government could lead to a mid-term election, the rebel MLAs then rallied behind the chief minister.
In Karnataka, meanwhile, an unfazed Mr Bhardwaj hit back on Tuesday, saying that the constitutional mechanism had broken down in the state because of the collusion between the Assembly Speaker and the chief minister that led to the disqualification of the rebel MLAs last year. In a statement released by Raj Bhavan, he also rejected as “baseless” the allegations that he had recommended President’s Rule on the grounds that the government had lost its majority.
In an obvious reference to the disqualification of 16 MLAs by the Speaker, Mr K.G. Bopaiah, on October 10 last year ahead of the trust vote faced by Mr Yeddyurappa, Mr Bhardwaj said the constitutional mechanism had broken down due to tampering with the composition of the Legislative Assembly in an “unconstitutional manner”.
Mr Bhardwaj had on Sunday recommended President’s Rule in Karnataka following last Friday’s verdict by the Supreme Court which restored the membership of the 16 rebel legislators — 11 from the BJP and five Independents. The BJP had called it “unconstitutional” and an attempt by Mr Bhardwaj to “dilute the democratically-elected government”.
“Bhardwaj is helping us to unite and strengthen our party. I compliment him for that. I also thank all my BJP friends. I have come to Delhi to save democracy and Karnataka,” Mr Yeddyurappa said Tuesday ahead of his meeting with the President. The BJP also strongly backed the leadership of Mr Yeddyurappa.
After their meeting with the President, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said since the President was the guardian of the Constitution, the party had decided to take up the issue with her. “We met the President and demanded that she give us protection. We asked her that no action should be taken on the report submitted by the governor, who has recommended President’s Rule in the state. President’s Rule should not be imposed,” Mr Gadkari said.
Praising Mr Yeddyurappa’s “good governance”, Mr Gadkari said: “101 per cent we will be victorious. We are a majority government, a popular government.”
An NDA delegation led by Mr L.K. Advani had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday to complain against the Karnataka governor and demanding his recall. The delegation got an assurance from Dr Singh that no “nothing unconstitutional” would be done by the Centre in this regard. Asian Age