BJP parades MLAs, governor defends action (Roundup)

May 17th, 2011 - 10:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Pratibha Patil New Delhi/ Bangalore, May 17 (IANS) The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday paraded its Karanataka legislators before President Pratibha Patil in a bid to prove its majority in the state assembly, even as Governor H.R. Bhardwaj came out publicly with the reasons for recommending the imposition of central rule in the state.

The BJP delgation that met the president Tuesday evening included party president Nitin Gadkari, Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and 114 legislators from the state.

Party leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and M. Venkaiah Naidu were also present. Letters of support from seven other MLAs were also submitted to the president.

Gadkari told reporters later that the party urged the president not to accept the Bhardwaj’s report on imposing president’s rule and urged her to recall the governor.

In Bangalore, Bhardwaj clarified in a communique that he recommended president’s rule following the Supreme Court judgement as there was breakdown of the constitutional mechanism on the day the confidence motion was taken in October last year.

Bhardwaj said Speaker K.G. Bapaiah, in collusion with the chief minister, had distorted the character and composition of the assembly for extraneous reasons Oct 10, 2010 by disqualifying 16 legislators just before the crucial floor test.

A division bench of the apex court May 13 had restored the membership of the 16 lawmakers by setting aside the disqualification order.

“The actions of distorting the character of the assembly were resorted to by the chief minister and the speaker, as noted by the Supreme Court of India in its judgment, to enable the floor test to succeed.

“The sanctity of the floor test has been deliberately subverted thereby resulting in the breakdown of the constitutional mechanism as the legislative assembly is a creation of the constitution under Article 168,” the communique pointed out.

In their meeting with the president, BJP leaders told her that the governor’s decision was “undemocratic and unconstitutional” and central rule should not be imposed in the state.

Gadkari, who had said earlier in the day that the BJP will emerge victorious from the crisis, claimed that the Karnataka government had support of 122 MLAs.

He also charged the Congress with making an attempt to destabilise the state government through the governor.

“We have the majority. Despite this, the governor has submitted this reccomendation again. The way he keeps interfering, the governor should be recalled,” Gadkari said.

Naidu said the president listened to the party delegation and added that she will look into the matter.

The six-page memorandum given to president, which has been signed by Yeddyurappa, said the governor had “converted the Raj Bhavan into political weapon for harassing the State government”.

The meeting came a day after leaders of BJP-led National Democratic Alliance met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who told them that the government will not take any unconstitutional action following the governor’s report.

The rebel MLAs, who withdrew their support from the Yeddyurappa government in October last year, had submitted letters of support to the governor after May 13 decision of the apex court, taking BJP’s strength in the assembly to 121.

Congress workers blocked roads in Bangalore demanding dismissal of the state government. The BJP staged counter-rallies across Karnataka, condemning Bhardwaj for his report recommending the dismissal of the state government.

Official sources said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had not acted hastily on the governor’s report as a view had emerged in the Congress that imposition of president’s rule in the state may not pass judicial muster.

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