The sum and substance of the Governor’s missive to K G Bopaiah is that on October 6 he received letters from 19 MLAs who have withdrawn support to the Yeddyurappa government. On his request, the Chief Minister has been asked to prove his majority in the Legislative Assembly. The essential purpose of the session is to take vote of confidence. As held by the Supreme Court in Bommai case, when a question arises about the Chief Minister enjoying the majority support of the House, the best way to ascertain the same is going for free and fair floor test.
The Governor said he has received representation from the Opposition parties that the floor test may not be free and fair and may be vitiated by various actions. It is required that no attempt should be made to change the character/configuration of the House after the House has been summoned for this purpose. “Any result obtained by such vitiated proceedings will not be acceptable,” he told the Speaker.
“It is my earnest appeal to you to maintain absolute impartiality and uphold the highest traditions of the Presiding Officers in conducting the free and fair floor test,” he told Bopaiah.
‘Recall the Governor’
Strongly reacting to the Governor’s letter, an apoplectic BJP demanded that the Centre recall the Governor alleging that he had been partisan in his conduct. The Governor’s letter was the point of discussion at Golden Palm Resorts, where BJP MLAs are camping.
BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu said the Governor’s direction to the Speaker was illegal, unconstitutional and uncalled for. It was unbecoming of the Governor. “Speaker is supreme in the House and the Governor should leave politics for the political parties. He should stop acting in favour of the Opposition parties,” he said.
Former speakers D B Chandre Gowda and Jagadish Shettar termed the Governor’s letter as undue interference in the affairs of the House.
Justice Rama Jois, a former Governor of Bihar, said the Governor’s letter was violative of several judgements of the Supreme Court. Former MP and senior counsel Satyapal Jain said the Governor cannot interfere in the affairs of the Speaker.
However, leaders in the Opposition found no fault with the letter. H D Deve Gowda, JD(S) national president, said the Governor has issued the direction to run the House impartially.
KPCC president R V Deshpande said the Governor has not curtailed the powers of the Speaker, and charged the BJP leaders with lacking respect for either the Governor and the courts.