Governor recommends Prez rule in Karnataka

The Karnataka Governor, Mr H.R. Bhardwaj, has recommended President’s Rule in Karnataka, according to Raj Bhavan sources.

The Governor has sent a detailed report to the Centre on events during the trust vote in Karnataka Assembly, Raj Bhavan sources said.

Sources said the Governor took a head count of the legislators opposed to the Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, and found 120 members in opposition.

The development after Mr Yeddyurappa won a vote of confidence following the Assembly Speaker, Mr K.G. Bopaiah, disqualifying 16 legislators, 11 from the BJP and five Independents.

The Union Home Ministry is said to be concerned over developments in Karnataka and has taken serious note of them.

Prima facie, sources feel that the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, the anti-defection law, has been abused.

Highly placed sources said the abuse of the anti-defection law was more so in the case of disqualification of independents.

They said the Tenth Schedule does not apply to independents and, therefore, there is no question of their disqualification.

Even in the case of dissident BJP MLAs, the sources said disqualification can only be on two grounds – one if the MLA resign from the party voluntarily and two if he votes against the whip.

Therefore, there is no question of disqualification of the BJP MLAs before the vote, the sources said.

The sources were commenting on Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah disqualifying 16 rebel MLAs ahead of the trust vote.

Earlier, the ruling BJP in Karnataka demanded the immediate recall of Mr Bhardwaj and warned of agitation if it was not done.

The Governor is “acting like leader of opposition”, the BJP state unit president, Mr K.S. Eshwarappa, said in the presence of Mr Yeddyurappa after the Government won the vote of confidence by voice vote.

“He has in a way behaved like instigating the JDS and the Congress,” Mr Eshwarappa alleged, adding that Mr Bhardwaj was conspiring against the BJP government ever since he assumed charge.

Demanding his recall by the Centre, he said, “Otherwise, we will agitate.”

Mr Eshwarappa accused the Governor of trying to “dictate” the Assembly Speaker and said “this Governor has to go”.

Mr Yeddyurappa said the people of the state had not expected such a behaviour from the Governor, who he said, tried to exercise the power of the Speaker. “It’s very unfortunate,” he added.(PTI)

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