Governor, CM spat takes ugly turn

Governor, CM spat takes ugly turn

Governor, CM spat takes ugly turn

Reacting to newspersons' queries on the State BJP's plan to call a Karnataka-wide bundh if he sanctioned Yeddyurappa and State Home Minister R Ashoka's prosecution, the Governor shot back, “ulta chor kotwal ko daante” (a case of the thief admonishing the policeman). He added he would take a decision on sanctioning prosecution against Yeddyurappa and Ashoka within the next two days.

“These people (the BJP) want to protest against me. These are all part of today’s politics. I am not scared of all these things...It is my duty to consider any complaint that comes to me,” Bhardwaj said on the sidelines of a book launch here Thursday morning.

Not to take Bhardwaj's attack lying down, the chief minister hit back at him late in the evening, saying that the Governor had lowered the dignity of the chief minister and thereby the voters of Karnataka too. In a strongly-worded letter addressed to the Governor, Yeddyurappa castigated Bhardwaj, saying that he had adopted a biased attitude in line with his political affiliation. This is the first time that Yeddyurappa has hit out at Bhardwaj since the land scam issue reached the Raj Bhavan.

Claiming that it was the people's land that was taken (by Yeddyurappa and some of his Cabinet colleagues), the Governor said land scams have been going on for many days. “It is nothing new. The probe in the matter was entrusted to the Lokayukta, then he (the chief minister) said he would give back the land, then the matter was referred to a judicial commission. Everything is known to the media. What do I have to do with this?” he said.

Pointing out that  he was yet to receive all the documents he had sought on the denotification of land from the government, even though he had set a January 20 deadline for submission of documents to him, Bhardwaj said: “I had asked the government to give the documents by January 20. Today is the last day. I have not got them yet.”

The BJP took strong exception to the Governor’s outburst, alleging that Bhardwaj had already “pre-judged” to give his consent to prosecute Yeddyurappa. Before the chief minister despatched his letter to the Governor, eight Cabinet ministers got together at the Vidhana Soudha hours in support of Yeddyurappa.

“The Governor finding Wednesday’s Cabinet resolution asking him not to proceed with prosecution proceedings as a thief adminishing the policeman shows he has a prejudiced mind”, Law Minister Suresh Kumar said.

Kumar wondered how the Governor had come to the conclusion that the chief minister was guilty when he said a day earlier that he was yet to study the documents sought by him with regard to a petition filed by two advocates seeking the prosecution of Yeddyurappa and Ashoka.

Yeddyurappa, who was supposed to address the media, was advised not to take on the Governor directly at this stage. His Cabinet colleagues then took upon themselves the job of launching the counter attack against the Governor.

Besides, Kumar, ministers V S Acharya, R Ashoka, M P Renukacharya, Govind Karjol, V Somanna, C M Udasi and Basavaraj Bommai stood in support of Yeddyurappa.
They released a list of 80 documents sent to Raj Bhavan in a bid to refute the claim by Governor Bhardwaj that he had not received all the information sought by him.
The BJP is preparing to take the Governor head-on in the days to come. A top BJP source said the party’s central leadership had made it clear there was no question of Yeddyurappa resigning even if Bhardwaj gave his consent to initiate prosecution proceedings.

It is learnt that B S Yeddyurappa is set to write to President Pratibha Patil highlighting Bhardwaj’s alleged partisan attitude against the state government.

“The letter is being drafted by the central leadership in consultation with legal experts. It will narrate various instances when the Governor crossed his limits like calling himself a Congress man in public. In effect, the letter will convey to the President that the Governor needs to be recalled”, BJP sources said.

The party is planning to send the letter to Rashtrapathi Bhavan ahead of State BJP MPs’ scheduled meeting with the President Patil on January 24 when they plan to submit a memorandum on the Governor’s partisan stand.

A series of meetings, including that of the core-committee, office-bearers and ministers, have been scheduled on Friday when the party will take stock of the political situation and chalk out its next course of action.

On January 25, BJP MLAs and MLCs will stage a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan. And, if the Governor does sanction prosecution, a statewide bundh will be called on January 27. Union Health Minister Gulam Nabi Azad, on a visit here, ruled out possibility of recalling Bhardwaj.

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