I’m a Brahmin, don’t tell me about cow protection: Karnataka governor

September 12th, 2010 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bangalore, Sep 12 (IANS) In a rare instance of a constitutional authority referring to his caste to hit back at critics, Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Sunday told the state’s BJP government that he was Brahmin and didn’t need to be told about cow protection.
“I am a Brahmin. I need not learn from anybody about cow protection,” Bhardwaj said, slamming Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers attacking him for not giving his assent to a bill banning cow slaughter and forwarding it to President Pratibha Patil for a decision.

Several ministers and state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa have been criticising Bhardwaj for not assenting to the bill and had organised a state-wide demonstration last week to press Patil for early nod to the legislation.

Bhardwaj also took exception to BJP ministers attacking him for rejecting the government’s recommendation to release a group of criminals on the basis of their good conduct.

“Ministers are giving many statements (against me). This is gross indiscipline. I don’t like this,” the governor told reporters here.

“I am not an outsider. I am the head of this government. It is my duty to see this government functions according to the constitution,” he said referring to the anti-cow slaughter bill.

“If there is no problem I give assent. If there is a problem it is referred to the president. There is no shortcut when it comes to constitutional matters. If they want shortcut, I will not allow it,” Bhardwaj asserted.

On the release of convicts for good conduct, he said: “I cannot function arbitrarily. How can criminals pressurize the governor?”

The government had recommended release of around 590 life convicts across the state on the occasion of Independence Day on the ground of good conduct. They had gone on hunger strike after the governor did not agree to their release.

Bhardwaj had rejected the recommendation citing several court judgements on the issue of release of life convicts.

“Do you want the governor to get strictures from the court?”

State Prisons and Horticulture Minister Umesh Katti, criticizing the governor for not accepting the recommendation, has been saying that the government will approach the president, which has angered Bhardwaj.

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