Bangalore: The BJP government in Karnataka is in an open war with Governor HR Bhardwaj who termed Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa’s floor test a “farce” and offered him the chance of a second trust vote on October 14.
The BJP called for the immediate recall of Bhardwaj accusing him of abusing his power to destabilize the government.
Yeddyurappa has reportedly accepted the Governor’s challenge and agreed to face a second trust vote, according sources. The CM has written to the Governor agreeing to prove his majority in the state Assembly on October 14.
“I have been facing difficulities since the last two and half years. I have tackled them successfully and this time also I’ll overcome them,” Yedyurappa told reporters. The CM, along with BJP MLAs, met senior BJP leader L K Advani at his residence in New Delhi.
Asking Yeddyurappa to “uphold principles of Constitutional propriety,” the Governor sent a letter to the Chief Minister on Tuesday saying that he has not proved the majority. In his letter, Bhardwaj is said to have offered Yeddyurappa another chance “in interest of fairness”.
The Governor made a scathing attack on the BJP government, highlighting the mining scam and corruption scandals and strongly refuted allegations that he acted in a partisan manner in recommending President’s rule in the state.
“I am fed up with this kind of corruption in mining….”, Bhardwaj, who is under attack by the BJP, told a press conference and referred to media reports on land-grabbing and (corruption in) denotification of land. “…those who are elected to serve the people, are not governing in Karnataka,” he said.
Rejecting charge made by the BJP that he is an agent of the Congress and was not impartial, Bhardwaj noted that BJP is now resorting to streets (in protest against his recommendation).
The Governor said he found that the trust vote taken on Monday was a “farce” as there was no clear mention of the number of votes cast in favour and against the motion of confidence moved by the Chief Minister.
“The Speaker simply said that the motion was carried by a voice vote,” he said, adding there cannot be a voice vote in such a crucial matter.
Bhardwaj said that the presence of a large number of uniformed police and unauthorised personnel in the Assembly had vitiated the atmosphere in the House.
But the BJP is not buying this sudden U-turn. The Governor launched a personal attack on the BJP on Tuesday, calling the BJP government in Karnataka corrupt and indisciplined.
BJP has questioned the motive behind the Governor’s letter to the Chief Minister asking him to prove his majority again in the Assembly.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley accused the Governor of creating the crisis in Karnataka.
“It is unprecedented that the Governor writes a letter to the Speaker directing him not to exercise his power under anti-defection law,” Jaitley said.
“The central government should recall the Governor immediately,” he said.
Jaitley raised objections to the Governor’s letter questioning the “verdict” of the Assembly during the trust vote and questioned his authority to do so. Jaitley was talking to reporters after one round of the Core Group meeting of BJP.
Meanwhile, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday adjourned till October 18 hearing in the case relating to the disqualification of 16 rebel MLAs by Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah.
Opposition parties criticised the Speaker’s action saying there was no division of votes and claimed that there were more MLAs opposed to the government than those supporting it.
Criticising the role played by the Governor, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said Bhardwaj is trying to destabilise the Karnataka government instead of ensuring stability in the state.
He said: “We’ll discuss about how the Congress is trying to destabilise the government in Karnataka using the help of the Governor. We will look into the role of the Governor, about how our MLAs were tempted and the ruckus in the House. All this looks like a pre-written script written in Delhi which has been executed in Karnataka by the Governor’s office.”
However, Union Law Minister Verappa Moily dismissed the charges, saying: “In our democracy anyone can can talk to anyone. But these are all allegations that are highly politically motivated and a desperate attempt by the BJP to cover their own lapses. This shows their character.”