BJP asks Prez to recall Bhardwaj

Removal of governor necessary for restoring constitutional order in Karnataka, says party
Last Updated 24 January 2011, 19:27 IST

Senior party leader L K Advani led a “Rashtrapati Bhavan-chalo” march that ended in the submission of a memorandum to the President, seeking her intervention in stopping Bhardwaj's “tirades,”  ever since he assumed office in June last year, against the state government. The party delegation insisted that his removal was a “must” in restoring constitutional order.  

The delegation, which also consisted of senior leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley and the 23 MPs from the state, accused the governor of “acting as a Congress agent” to topple the BJP government by his “unconstitutional” conduct.

Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu met the President and urged her to recall Bhardwaj immediately. Despite giving a patient hearing, the President refrained from responding to their pleas.

“We appealed to the President to recall the Karnataka governor as he has been exhibiting an extra-constitutional and confrontationist attitude. In the memorandum, we have given several instances wherein it is evident that right from the beginning he has been harbouring a political agenda,”  Advani told reporters after meeting Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The BJP's move to meet the President came amid heightened tension between Bhardwaj and Yeddyurappa following the governor's decision to authorise proceedings against the chief minister in a corruption case.

In the memorandum, the BJP highlighted several public statements by the governor critical of the chief minister and pointed out that such statements are “typically made in public only by Opposition leaders and not by a Constitutional head of the government.”

Calling Bhardwaj's appointment a step to end democracy in the country, the BJP said the “mindset and conduct” of the governor was motivated by extraneous and collateral purposes, less as a Constitutional functionary and more as a Congress activist. Naidu, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka, accused the Congress of escalating the issue.

The BJP will also intensify its attack on the governor by staging a dharna before Raj Bhavan in Bangalore on Tuesday . The party’s Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members and MLAs will take part in the dharna.

Party sources informed Deccan Herald that the top leadership would defend the chief minister and continue its campaign against the Congress to gain political mileage from the issue.

“If we remove the chief minister immediately, it would mean that we have accepted the governor’s decision. Instead of removing him, we want to take full political advantage,” said a senior leader.
He also said that the party was watching the developments in the Bangalore court and would act based on advice by its legal team.

It is also learnt that the party leadership would meet in the capital in two days to discuss the issue .

Cong rubbishes demand

Meanwhile, the Congress has rubbished the BJP’s demand. The party said that the Governor was within his constitutional rights to sanction prosecution of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa.

“The Governor has taken a decision. He has already explained in detail why he took this decision (of sanctioning prosecution of Yeddyurappa),” said the AICC spokesman Manish Tiwari. “The Governor is well within his constitutional rights to arrive at the decision.”

(Published 24 January 2011, 19:27 IST)

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