The Centre on Monday rejected the BJP’s demand for recall of Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj saying that he had only “performed his duty” by drawing attention to issues in Karnataka that are “of grave concern” to New Delhi.
“There is no question of recalling the Governor,” Union Home Minister P Chidambaram told mediapersons here while briefing them about Sunday’s decision of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) to reject Bhardwaj’s report recommending President’s rule in Karnataka.
“The Governor performed his duty…we took our position,” he said, adding that the Government was mindful of the legal position and the Supreme Court judgement on the use of Article 356. “The power to impose President’s rule is restricted,” Chidambaram said and conceded that “the facts placed before the CCPA did not enable us to reach a conclusion that the conditions of Article 356 are attracted.”
Even as BJP continued to press for Bhardwaj’s recall in the light of rejection of its report, the Congress said the Governor had not done anything wrong by sending the controversial report.
“What is immoral about what the Governor has done? It’s his responsibility to inform the Centre about the ground situation. The Centre in its wisdom has taken a call against imposition of Article 356,” said a Congress spokeperson, ruling out any conflict between the Centre and Bhardwaj.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram informed reporters here that the advisory drawing the Karnataka Government’s attention to governance issues raised in Bhardwaj’s report was under preparation and would be sent out on Tuesday. These issues included instances of corruption, resignation of ministers on the issue of corruption, illegal mining in the state, the report of the central empowered committee on illegal mining, sanctions of prosecution against ministers, complaints lodged by the Lokayukta of Karnataka and discrimination/oppression of minorities in the state.
“These issues are of grave concern….They are not indicative of good governance,” Chidambaram said, adding that the Central advisory would recommend corrective steps to take care of concerns expressed in the Governor’s report. The planned advisory has however not gone down well with the BJP, which on Monday accused Chidambaram of playing “big brother.” Economic Times