BJP calls Bhardwaj Congress agent, Cong reacts sharply

The Congress and the BJP locked horns after Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj was accused of acting as an "agent" of the Congress by the saffron party today to destabilise its government in Karnataka.

Last Updated: Jul 14, 2010, 00:16 AM IST

New Delhi: The Congress and the BJP locked
horns after Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj was accused of
acting as an "agent" of the Congress by the saffron party
today to destabilise its government in Karnataka.

In a sharp reaction, the Congress flayed the BJP saying
the allegation made against Bharadwaj has vitiated the
political atmosphere.

"We deeply regret that the Raj Bhawan in Karnataka is
becoming an instrument to bring Congress to power in the state
through the backdoor," BJP Chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar
Prasad said, adding that the option on seeking the recall of
the Governor was also open. Bharadwaj is a former Congress
leader and an ex-Union Law minister.

Prasad`s remarks came shortly after Bharadwaj spoke of
the need to take action against the powerful Reddy brothers,
who are mining barons and state ministers, in the backdrop of
allegations of illegal mining in Bellary against them.
The BJP sought to know whether Bhardwaj had "decided
which role he wanted to play" in the state.

"We would like to know whether he is holding a
constitutional office there or working as an agent of the
Congress," Prasad said. At another interaction, Prasad said
Bhardwaj was acting as a "rank agent" of the Congress.

"The Governor has since morning been acting as a
campaigner against the BJP government," he alleged.

Flaying the BJP for the "Congress agent" remark, Congress
questioned the saffron party for making comments on
Constitutional authorities.

"If comments are made on constitutional authorities
where will democracy go. It seems that in the BJP, the malaise
which started from the top, has spread to the ranks," party
spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters here.

Attacking the opposition party, Tewari said, "BJP says
it is a responsible political party. The language too has to
be responsible. It is highly improper on their part to comment
on those sitting in constitutional positions".

He said use of such language has "vitiated" the
political atmosphere.

"What the BJP needs to guard is terror of inappropriate
language," the spokesman said, in an oblique reference to
statements of party President Nitin Gadkari in the recent past
on Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and party leaders on
the alleged involvement of some RSS functionaries in acts of
terror.

Prasad at his press conference said, "We want to caution
the Governor to please recognise and respect the limitations
of the Governor`s office. Else we will be constrained to act,"
Prasad said.

When asked if BJP would demand Bhardwaj`s resignation,
Prasad said he had only opened "one card" now and the party
would act further depending on how the Congress and the
Governor go about the issue. "All options are open," he said.

Speaking to reporters in Bangalore after a meeting of
BJP legislators, party`s state unit President K S Eshwarappa
wondered if the Governor was being carried away by the
"misinformation" of the Congress and JDS.

"The Governor should not be carried way by the
misinformation of the Congress and JDS", he said.

-PTI