Governor now says govt is safe
Nine more BJP legislators likely to submit resignation
Governor H R Bhardwaj on Saturday backtracked from his statement that Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar would have to take a floor test to prove his majority and asserted that there was no threat to the government at this juncture.
Speaking to reporters in Bangalore after hoisting the national flag on the occasion of Republic Day, Bhardwaj said there was no threat to the government since only 13 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators have offered to resign from the Assembly.
Bhardwaj said he was closely monitoring the political developments in the State. “The day the government becomes a minority, even by a single MLA, I will issue the notice. We should not say that there is a constitutional crisis. We live in a democracy. Karnataka will continue to function in a constitutional manner. I will not do anything constitutionally wrong. But I am keeping a watch on the government, minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day,” he said.
The governor said on Friday that the government was reduced to a minority, with 13 MLAs offering to resign, and that he had asked the chief minister to prove his majority.
Bhardwaj said Shettar had met him and asserted that the government would keep Raj Bhavan posted of the political developments.
The governor, however, confirmed that he will address the Legislature session on February 4. “It is my privilege to address the opening session of the New Year.”
Bhardwaj also refrained from commenting on Speaker K J Bopaiah’s role in the drama that unfolded over the last few days. “The Speaker holds an independent and a very high office. I can’t dictate terms to him. He runs the House,” he said. Bopaiah, while speaking to reporters in Madikeri, said he would consider accepting resignations of the dissident MLAs only if they “are in accordance with the rule book.” “Those keen on submitting their resignations have been talking about it for the last six months. If they want to submit their papers immediately, they can come to Madikeri and do so,” he said.
Shettar, on his part, maintained that he enjoyed the majority and would present the 2013-14 Budget on February 8.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Janata Party leaders have claimed that nine more BJP legislators loyal to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa were ready to resign and awaiting the Speaker’s return to Bangalore.