Karnataka Governor backs off, says Yeddyurappa has majority
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 22:45
  
Bangalore: After triggering a major controversy recommending President's rule, Governor H R Bhardwaj on Wednesday said the BJP government in Karnataka enjoyed a massive majority but Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa still gunned for his removal.

On his part, the Governor ruled out quitting and declared he will continue till he completes his five-year term.

The day was marked by a brief bonhomie when the two principal characters in the high-voltatge political drama shared the stage at an official function for the first time after Bhardwaj's action on Sunday recommending to the Centre imposition of President's rule.

On the stage, sitting next to each other they were seen speaking animatedly to with Bhardwaj placing his hands on the Chief Minister's arm.

In his speech later, the Governor said, "The Chief Minister is an elected representative. Massive majority he has. Nobody ever disputes that. We are friends. These political tensions are irrelevant. We have to dedicate ourselves to the Constitution and to the laws."

He described Yeddyurappa as a hard-working Chief Minister who has been toiling for the development of the state. "He is working for 18 to 20 hours a day," he said.

Notwithstanding his warm words, the Chief Minister maintained that the Governor must go and "there is no no change in our stand" on the demand for his recall.

He said because of the past experience with him of his "attempts to destabilise the government from day one", the national leadership of BJP and he himself had urged the President and Prime Minister for the Governor's recall.

"There is no no change in the stand. We have 121 MLAs and what was the necessity (for recommending President's rule," asked the Chief Minister.

Asked about the demand for his recall, Bhardwaj ruled out quitting saying he has a job to do as Governor of Karnataka.

"I am performing the job of Govenor. Till the President issues an order I will carry on and complete my five year term as Governor of Karnataka," he said.

To a query on his despatching a special report to the Centre recommending imposition of President's rule, he said "I have already communicated in writing. My stand continues. Let the Constitutional authority decide. I have discharged my Constitutional function by sending the report".

In the last two days, the BJP leadership and Chief Minister had launched a high-voltage campaign against the Governor. They had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil demanding rejection of his report and his recall.

Bhardwaj had a dig at the BJP campaign for his recall quoting from the Upanishad to say that a 'guest is God' and as Governor "I am guest of Karnataka".

"We have to adhere to the Constitution and law. Whoever so high, nobody is above law. I cannot be recalled by any person other than the President", he said.

"I have to act in accordance with the Constitution. My hands are tied by the Constitution.," Bhardwaj said.

Rejecting allegations of being partisan, Bhardwaj said "there is no partiality and impartiality so far as my life is concerned. I have nothing personal against Yeddyurappa. From my peon to Secretary I treat everybody with love and affection. I require that in return".

"I want my government in Karnataka to be a government of reputation", he said.

On sharing the podium with Yeddyurappa, Bhardwaj shot back "do you think I should not meet the Chief Minister, should not come to the function. Then what kind of Governor I am. I will talk to every person".

Asked whether Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah should resign, he said "everybody is bound by the judiciary's order".

The Supreme Court had recently quashed the Speaker's order on October 10 last year disqualifying 11 BJP rebel MLAs and five independents ahead of the trust vote, triggering a fresh political crisis in the state.

On his lauding Yeddyurappa at the function, Bhardwaj said with a smile "I am always saying that he is a hard worker and these things......but all these things are his problems and not my problems".

In Delhi, when asked to explain about the sudden bonhomie between Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj and Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, BJP spokesperson Syed Shahnawaz Hussain said "when time changes, the thinking of people changes accordingly... We hope good sense will prevail upon people who want to dismiss a constitutionally elected government."

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 22:45


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