Bangalore: Declaring an all-out war against
Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj, ruling BJP on Tuesday announced a
series of public rallies to press for his recall, saying the
agitation would continue till he leaves the state.
Intensifying their anti-Governor campaign, BJP MLAs and
MLCs, besides senior leaders, including M Venkaiah Naidu,
staged a protest in front of Raj Bhavan and courted arrest.
"We will continue our agitation till he (Bhardwaj) leaves
Karnataka," state party chief K S Eshwarappa told a meeting of
the BJP Legislature Party before the legislators set out to
stage the protest against the Governor, whose sanction for
prosecution of Chief Minister B S Yeddurappa came as a flash
point in the prolonged conflict between him and the
He accused Bhardwaj of trying to destablise the BJP
government in the company of the Congress and JD-S.
The slogan shouting BJP legislators, carrying placards
reading "Governor go back", "Congress agent Bhardwaj down,
down" and "Call back governor", were stopped by police present
in good strength outside Raj Bhavan.
After raising anti-Governor slogans, the legislators got
into police vans and courted arrest even as the Governor left
Raj Bhavan minutes before the protest to attend a function.
Unfazed by the stepped up attack by BJP, which yesterday
petitioned President Pratibha Patil for his recall, Bhardwaj
continued with his barbs against the Yeddyurappa Government,
asking the people to save Karnataka from "malpractices".
"We should build a powerful society in Karnataka and save
the state from malpractices. Malpractices destroy every
system," said Bhardwaj, whose relationship with BJP has been
consistently strained since he became Governor.
Speaking at the National Voters Day celebration organised
by the State Election Commission here, Bhardwaj, dubbed a
Congress agent by the BJP, asserted that he was hundred per
cent committed to rule of law.
Earlier, addressing the legislature party meeting here,
attended by Naidu and Yeddyurappa, Eshwarappa said "massive
public" rallies would be held in Hubli (February 2), Belgaum
(February 5) and Bangalore (February 7).
He said a rally would also be held here on February 20.
Naidu said while the BJP met President Patil yesterday
seeking the Governor`s recall, today it`s the protest outside
Raj Bhavan and from tomorrow, the party would go to people`s
Slamming Bhardwaj for "fighting from behind the curtains",
Naidu asked the Congress to make him "working president of the
Congress in Karnataka". "Let`s have an open fight," he said.
"Let`s go to people. People will decide. We have to take
it to the people. The agitation must continue. We have to
maintain the tempo. People are the ultimate masters," he said.
He flayed the Governor for "calling the Chief Minister a
thief." "It`s an insult to the people of Karnataka. The people
will not take it lying down."
Yeddyurappa urged the legislators to organise rallies in
districts. The Governor`s "insulting remarks cannot be
tolerated," he said.
As the BJP and the Governor continued the exchange of
words, Congress`s Legal and Human Rights Wing today filed a
petition before the Election Commission seeking derecognition
of the saffron party in the state for sponsoring a bandh on
The confrontation between Bhardwaj and BJP heightened
after the Governor ignored a cabinet resolution asking him to
drop proceedings on the petition seeking to prosecute the
Chief Minister and gave his sanction with BJP crying foul and
going all out in its offensive against him.