On a day when the Union Cabinet chose not to take a call on Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj’s recommendation for President’s rule, Janata Dal(S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh not only to press for imposition of Central rule but also to assure him of requisite numbers to support the decision in the Rajya Sabha.
Mr Gowda, who rushed to New Delhi soon after performing special pooja on his 79th birthday to break bread with leaders of Left parties, reportedly handed over a list of 40-odd members of the Upper House to Dr Singh to buttress his promise of ensuring smooth ratification of the Centre’s decision.
This message of support was backed by suggestions that Congress leaders should forget the bitterness of the past (read parting of the ways with Congress to join hands with BJP in 2006 in Karnataka and opposition to the civil nuclear deal) to deal with the B.S. Yeddyurappa-led government which was facing several charges of corruption.
“Mr Gowda has promised to secure the support of several regional parties as most of the leaders of these parties were part of his cabinet,” sources in Dal(S) told this newspaper.
He shared his plans with senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes who called on Mr Gowda soon after the latter’s meeting with leaders of the Left parties. The JD(S) leader has spoken to Congress president Sonia Gandhi on the issue of clamping President’s rule based on the recommendation of Mr Bhardwaj.
Sources said Mr Gowda’s campaign for ouster of the BJP government also won the backing of Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan. Leaders of the state unit of Congress are pinning their hopes on Mr Gowda and his son H.D. Kumaraswamy to help secure the Union government’s approval for President’s rule, with a Congress delegation scheduled to leave for Delhi on Friday to urge senior leaders to accept Mr Bhardwaj’s recommendation.
The JDS president along with the Left parties on Thursday also demanded the resignation of Karnataka chief minister Yeddyurappa and Speaker of the Karnataka Assembly K.G. Bopiah, in the wake of the Supreme Court striking down the disqualification of 16 MLAs in the Karnataka Assembly. The Left parties, the JDS and Ajit Singh’s Rasthriya Lok Dal (RLD) issued a joint statement in this regard. Mr Gowda also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in connection with the developments in Karnataka. Addressing a press conference in Delhi after a breakfast meeting at Mr Gowda’s residence, Mr Bardhan of the CPI said they didn’t have any objection to the continuance of the BJP rule in Karnataka if it was presided over by someone other than Mr Yeddyurappa. He said, “If the BJP wants to continue with the government, let them elect new Speaker and chief minister. We have no objection to that. But these two gentlemen have no right to continue after SC judgement. A clear indictment is there.”
Mr Gowda said, “Our view is confined to the apex court’s indictment in the light of which neither the Speaker nor the CM can continue in office.”
Reading out the joint statement, CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, “The SC has termed this decision (of dismissal of MLAs) unconstitutional. Chief minister Yeddyurappa hence has no right to continue in office in light of the severe strictures passed by the Supreme Court of India.” He added that in the light of this censure the chief minister and the speaker don’t have the moral and legal right to continue in office. Asian Age