K’taka: BJP leaders meet PM, demand Bhardwaj`s recall

A BJP delegation led by senior leader LK Advani on Wednesday called on PM Manmohan Singh and demanded that Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj be recalled immediately for "being partisan."

Last Updated: Oct 13, 2010, 18:25 PM IST

New Delhi: A BJP delegation led by senior
leader L K Advani on Wednesday called on Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh and demanded that Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj be
recalled immediately for "being partisan and converting the
Raj Bhawan into an epicentre of horse-trading."

"We seek the recall of Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj.
The developments of the last few weeks have clearly
demonstrated that notwithstanding his appointment to a
constitutional office of a Governor, Bhardwaj has utterly
failed to politically detach himself from his political past,"
BJP said in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister.
Advani was accompanied by Leader of Opposition in Lok
Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun
Jaitley and senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu. Home
Minister P Chidambaram was present during the meeting.

"Extra-constitutionalism was his (governor`s) firm belief
and the use of extra constitutionalism to demonstrate loyalty
was always his political strategy," Jaitley said later during
an interaction with the media.

"Remaining politically impartial is not in his nature,"
he added.

BJP had earlier called Bhardwaj an "agent of the Congress"
and demanded that the Centre recall him immediately.

"In recent weeks he (Bhardwaj) converted the Raj Bhawan
in Bengaluru into the epicentre of political conspiracy to
encourage horse-trading and destabilise the state government,"
Jaitley said.
He said though the first trust vote was "conclusive", the
party agreed for a second trust vote as suggested by the
Governor because it wanted to "avoid a constitutional
confrontation rather than precipitate one."

In the signed memorandum, BJP has accused Bhardwaj - a
former union law minister - of embroiling himself in several
controversies with political leaders and even ministers.

Alleging that Bhardwaj was acting with a "pre-determined
mind" to destabilise the BJP government in Karnataka, Jaitley
said, "Within 24 hours of recommending President`s Rule, he
did a volte-face and asked the Chief Minister to seek a fresh
vote of confidence on October 14, 2010 calling the earlier
vote a farce."

The BJP party described as "perverse and motivated" the
Governor`s earlier recommendation to the Centre for imposition
of President`s Rule "literally within minutes" after the trust
vote in the state Assembly on Monday.

"His public utterances, while accusing the state
government and the BJP of baseless charges, extended to
calling his gesture (by asking for a second Trust Vote) an act
of charity against the Chief Minister. The decorum and the
restraint required in a constitutional authority was
completely missing," the party memorandum said.

Jaitley maintained that "in language, utterances and
functioning", constitutional authorities were expected to act
with dignity but in case of the Governor it was not in
consonance with the dignity of the Constitutional office he
holds.

"The essence of constitutionalism is restraint,
convention, and not confrontation," he said.

PTI