Cong, BJP heading for a showdown in Karnataka

Dubbing the trust vote in Karnataka Assembly as a "farce", Cong & JDS demanded the immediate dismissal of the BJP govt but the saffron hit back saying Guv`s recommendation of President`s Rule was a "pre- written Cong script".

Updated: Oct 11, 2010, 21:40 PM IST

Bangalore/New Delhi: Dubbing the trust
vote in Karnataka Assembly as a "farce", opposition Congress
and JDS today demanded the immediate dismissal of the BJP
government in the state but the saffron hit back saying
Governor`s recommendation of President`s Rule was a "pre-
written Congress script".

Amid signs of the Opposition and the BJP heading for a
showdown, KPCC President R V Deshpande said, "The trust vote
is illegal and a total farce. The Centre should intervene."

JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy accused Chief Minister B S
Yeddyurappa of violating rules and regulations of the House.
"A government which has no majority wins the trust vote by
voice vote flouting all norms," he said.

Striking back, ruling BJP in Karnataka demanded
immediate recall of Governor H R Bhardwaj and warned of an
agitation if it was not done.

The Governor is "acting like Leader of Opposition",
President of BJP state unit K S Eshwarappa said in the
presence of the Chief Minister after the Government survived
the vote of confidence by voice vote.

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.

In New Delhi, BJP President Nitin Gadkari said an
attempt was made to destabilise the democratically-elected
government in the state by using money and muscle power.

"In the last few days, an attempt was made by the
Congress and the JD(S) to destabilise the democratically-
elected government by using money and muscle power. Many MLAs
were bought and pressurised. An attempt was also made to
misuse democratic institutions," Gadkari told reporters.

He said despite all these attempts, the BJP won the
trust vote and termed it as a tribute to Jai Prakash Narayan
whose birth anniversary falls today.

BJP Vice-President Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said,"Karnataka
Governor`s recommendation of President`s Rule is nothing but a
pre-written Congress script against the elected government of
Karnataka. Congress from the very beginning is misusing the
Governor`s office for its political purposes and has converted
the Raj Bhawan of Karnataka into a Congress Bhawan."

Yeddyurappa survived the trust vote through a voice
vote amid pandemonium in the House after Speaker K G Bopaiah
disqualified 16 MLAs, including 11 of BJP, hours before the
trial of strength.

Slamming the Yeddyurappa government, Congress said the
manner in which the trust vote was carried out was "murder of
democracy" and accused the Assembly Speaker of indulging in
"manipulative and unethical act" in collusion with the ruling
party.

"What happened in Karnataka Assembly today was not only
the complete murder of democracy but also of
constitutionalism... The unfortunate spectacle of a minority
government being turned into a majority government by a
collusive, manipulative and unethical act perpetrated by the
Speaker of the Assembly," party spokesperson Manish Tewari
said.

Asking why no division of vote was held, he said it was
not only the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution dealing with
anti-defection law that was "trampled upon" but "the spirit of
the Indian Constitution was massacred" in Karnataka Assembly.

Another party spokesperson Jayanti Natarajan termed
the trust vote in Karnataka as a "fraud on the Constitution
and democracy".

AICC General Secretary B K Harirprasad accused the BJP
for "ruining" the image of Karnataka and bringing "disrepute"
to the state politics. "Whatever has happened in Karnataka is
shameful. It is totally unconstitutional, unethical and
illegal," he said.

The issue of formation of an
alternative government in the event of dismissal
of the BJP ministry has not crossed the minds of Congress so
far, KPCC President R V Deshpande said today.

"The question of exploring the possibility of forming a
government has not come to our mind. If there is such a
possibility, our high command will take a decision. Currently,
we have not thought of it", Deshpande told PTI here.

"Let the Centre act on the Governor`s report recommending
President rule. Let us await the decision of the President on
the government," he added.

Condemning as "unconstitutional and undemocratic" the
manner in which the BJP government won the trust vote, the
CPI(M) said the party could not continue in office unless it
established majority through a division of votes.

Quoting the Supreme Court judgement in the Bommai case,
the CPI(M) Politburo said "a government has to prove its
majority on the floor of the House to continue in office. Any
disqualification of an MLA can occur only after the vote when
the party whip has been violated. Further, this cannot apply
to Independent MLAs."

In a statement, it said the Yeddyurappa government
"refused" to have a division of votes in the House and relied
on a voice vote to claim majority.

"All this constitutes a brazen constitutional
impropriety and cannot be allowed. The Yeddyurappa government
cannot remain in office unless it establishes its majority
through a division of votes on the floor of the Assembly," it
said.

-PTI