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BJP sees no threat to Karnataka govt, calls Guv a `Congress agent`

Putting up a brave face despite a move by 13 rebel MLAs to quit, BJP on Friday discounted any threat to its government in Karnataka.

New Delhi: Putting up a brave face despite a move by 13 rebel MLAs to quit, BJP on Friday discounted any threat to its government in Karnataka and accused Governor HR Bhardwaj of acting as a "Congress agent" after he said the Chief Minister could be asked to prove majority when the assembly meets on Feb 4.

"I have talked to Chief Minister (Jagadish Shettar) today. The Government will not be in a minority in Karnataka," BJP President Rajnath Singh said.

Asked about any threat to the government there, Singh said, "I am confident, there is no threat to our government in Karnataka. There is no crisis there."

In the 225-member Assembly, BJP has a strength of 117 excluding the Speaker and it requires 113 for a simple majority. Congress has 71 members and JDS 26.

There are seven Independents and two vacancies. One member is nominated.

BJP Spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy attacked the Governor for convening the assembly on February 4 and hinting at asking Chief minister Shettar to prove his majority and said this right lies with the Speaker of the State Assembly and not the Governor.

"This right is with the Speaker. Karnataka Governor`s intervention proves that the Congress is trying interfere in the affairs of the BJP-led Karnataka government," Rudy said.

Attacking Bhardwaj, he said, "In the present circumstances, it seems like unconstitutional. I feel Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj is acting not as a Governor but as a Congress agent."

On whether he has been in touch with former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, who recently formed his separate party, the BJP President replied in the negative.

Governor Bhardwaj said in Bangalore, "I have already summoned the assembly on February 4 (for Budget session) and if I feel that this government has come into minority, then I will order him (Shettar) to prove his majority at the first instance before transacting any business."

Buffeted by threats of instability to his government by 13 rebel MLAs, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar today told the Governor that he still commanded majority and hinted he has not been asked by him to prove his majority.

"I told the governor that there is no threat to my government as I enjoy majority," Shettar said after meeting Bhardwaj.

Seeking to push the government into a crisis, 13 MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief BS Yeddyurappa had gone in a delegation on Wednesday to meet Speaker KG Bopaiah to submit their resignation from assembly membership but he was not in station. They later submitted copies of their resignation letters to Bhardwaj.