New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday over the role of Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj in the ongoing political crisis in the state.
BJP`s senior most leader LK Advani along with Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu met the Prime Minister at 7 Race Course Road and sought the recall of Bhardwaj.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Arun Jaitley said, “Today we met the Prime Minister in the leadership of Advaniji. We have submitted a detailed memorandum. The talks were only regarding the Governor of Karnataka. We have demanded that he should be recalled immediately.”
“We have also told him that the Governor is not politically impartial. He has failed to politically detach himself from his past. The Raj Bhavan in Banglaore has been converted into an epicentre for horsetrading to destabilise the government,” Jaitley said in an open attack on Bhardwaj.
The 28-month old BJP government in Karnataka – first for the party south of the Vindhyas - has been in the thick of a crisis since 11 of its legislators, along with five Independents, rebelled against the leadership of Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa.
The Chief Minister won a confidence motion in the state Assembly by voice vote amid chaotic scenes Monday, prompting the Governor to recommend President`s Rule in the state.
Yesterday, the Governor gave Yeddyurappa a `fresh opportunity` to prove majority in the house Thursday.
Jaitley said that the power to advise the Assembly or the government can never be contrary to the Constitution. The Governor’s advice that the Speaker should not act as per the 10th schedule – disqualifying the rebels under the Anti-defection Law - is against the Constitution, he pointed out.
“As per the Assembly register the BJP was in majority and the vote was passed by a voice vote,” Jaitley said in defence of the controversial Vote of Confidence that was won by the Yeddyurappa government on October 11.
Taking his point forward Jaitley also pointed out that the Governor had, soon after the voice vote, made the recommendation for President’s Rule and then within 24-hours changed his stand and called for a fresh vote of confidence on October 14.
“Constitutional functionaries are expected to act in dignity and restraint, they don’t act on impulse. The nation has not been told why he changed his stand within 24 hours. Neither his action nor his language is in consonance with a constitutional functionary,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Independent MLAs who were disqualified by the Speaker ahead of the trust vote on October 11, have moved the High Court today seeking special voting powers, so as to make them eligible to take part in the Vote of Confidence scheduled for tomorrow.
The High Court had, yesterday, after hearing the case challenging the disqualification of the MLAs by the Speaker had posted the matter for October 18.