Bangalore: A day after the Karnataka High Court upheld disqualification of 11 rebel lawmakers, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday said the Congress attempted to destabilise its government.
The party also sought the recall of Governor HR Bhardwaj, a former Congress leader.
"A relative of a union minister from Karnataka had paid Rs 389,000 bill for the stay and other expenses of several rebel lawmakers in a star hotel in Chennai early October," state BJP chief KS Eshwarappa said at a press conference here.
He released what he said were copies of the bill raised by the hotel on October 12. The bill was in the name of a firm owned by the businessman who is the son-in-law of a union minister.
"This clearly indicates the role of the Congress in the revolt by some of our party legislators," he said.
However, Eshwarappa declined to name the minister.
These legislators had stayed in hotels in Chennai, Goa, Mumbai and Kochi after revolting against Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa on October 06.
The 11 BJP lawmakers` disqualification from the assembly was upheld by the Karnataka High Court on Friday. The case of five independents who had joined them in the rebellion is to be heard by the court on November 02.
A handwritten note on the copies of the bill circulated at the press meet says: "The entire amount is paid by cash by their representative. The hotel administration wanted a PAN (Permanent Account Number) no. but till 20/10 they had not come back." There was no signature or name of the person writing the note on the copies.
The BJP also launched an offensive against Bhardwaj and sought his immediate recall if he does not resign on his own because of his "illegal and unconstitutional acts".
"If he has got any respect for the constitution and standards in public life, he should quit immediately in the light of the high court verdict (upholding disqualification of the rebels)," former BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu said at the press meet.
If Bhardwaj fails to resign, "the central government should immediately recall him if they have any respect for the constitution and centre-state (government) relations," he said.
Bhardwaj had written to assembly speaker KG Bopaiah virtually telling him not to disqualify the rebels.
Following the revolt, Bhardwaj had directed Yeddyurappa to seek a trust vote in the assembly and had told Bopaiah to maintain the configuration of the House which in effect meant not to disqualify the rebels.
Bopaiah ignored Bhardwaj`s suggestion and disqualified the 11 BJP and five independent lawmakers which brought down the effective strength of the 225-member house to 209 before the trust vote on October 11.
Since the October 11 vote was marred by bedlam, Bhardwaj told Yeddyurappa to seek one more vote which the chief minister won on October 14 with 106 votes in his favour and 100 against. The disqualified lawmakers were not allowed to enter the House.