Karnataka Governor backs off, says Yeddyurappa has majority
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
"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
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