BJP appeals to Patil against president’s rule in Karnataka (Lead)

May 17th, 2011 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, May 17 (IANS) In a bid show its strength in the Karnataka assembly, the Bharatiya Janata Party Tuesday took 114 of its legislators to meet President Pratibha Patil and demanded recall of Governor H.R. Bhardwaj for recommending president’s rule in the state.

The delegation, led by party president Nitin Gadkari, and accompanied by senior leaders including Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and M. Venkaiah Naidu, included Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and 114 MLAs from the state who arrived in two Volvo buses.

Letters of support from seven other MLAs were also submitted to the president, along with a memorandum from the party forwarding their demand.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, Gadkari said the party urged the president not to accept Bhardwaj’s report on implementing president’s rule in the state and asked her to recall the governor.

“We have told the president that the governor’s decision was undemocratic and unconstitutional and president’s rule should not be imposed on the state,” Gadkari told reporters after the meeting. He said the BJP-led government in the state has the support of 122 MLAs in a 225-member assembly.

“We have the majority, despite that the governor has submitted this recommendation again. Keeping in mind the way he keeps interfering, the governor should be recalled. This is her right, we told the president,” he said.

Venkaiah Naidu, meanwhile, said the president heard them and said she would look into the report.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj also said the MLAs were paraded in front of the president.

“We paraded our 114 MLAs,” she said.

The six-page memorandum, signed by B.S. Yeddyurappa, also demanded the recall of the governor, who has “converted the Raj Bhavan into political weapon for harassing the state government”.

With the Supreme Court May 13 striking down the disqualification of 11 BJP and five Independent legislators of Karnataka, Bhardwaj is reported to have recommended to the central government president’s rule in the state. Government sources, however, indicated that the report may not be accepted.

The rebel MLAs, who withdrew their support to the Yeddyurappa government in October last year, submitted letters to the state governor Sunday extending support to the government.

The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre and the Congress party are reportedly not very keen on imposing president’s rule in Karnataka or dismissing the state government, as it may lead to a sympathy vote for the BJP when the next assembly polls are held.

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