Delhi unsure of Guv line

Delhi unsure of Guv line

Delhi unsure of Guv line

Bhardwaj’s recommendations made in a special report he sent to the Centre Sunday night were examined by the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday morning. But no decision was taken as the panel is understood to have sought “wider internal consultations” on the “sensitive issue” within the government.

According to informed sources, the governor’s “hurriedly written report” was deliberated upon by the CCPA but it deferred a decision on the report until Tuesday as there were “certain differences of opinion” among CCPA members.

Besides the prime minister, those who attended the CCPA were Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Defence Minister A K Antony and Law Minister M Veerappa Moily. Senior ministers were expected to hold informal consultations on the issue Monday night.

According to the sources, the Prime Minister has asked Mukherjee, Antony and Chidambaram to scrutinize the merits and demerits of Bhardwaj’s recommendations before arriving at a decision.

One of the Union ministers is understood to have opposed President’s rule, saying the move might trigger political backlash from a majority community in Karnataka. He counseled a “wait and watch” approach instead of acting on the governor’s recommendations.

Even Congress President Sonia Gandhi is believed to have spoken against any knee-jerk reaction to the political development in Karnataka.

During the day, government leaders were in touch with legal experts. Apparently, some experts have suggested that the best course would be to ask Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to take a “floor test” in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment last week, setting aside the disqualification of 11 BJP and 5 independent MLAs. They did not favour accepting Bhardwaj’s “strong advice.”

As the Manmohan Singh government considered the governor’s report, pressure mounted on it through the day from the BJP and its NDA allies at the Centre and in Karnataka. An NDA delegation under its chairman and veteran BJP leader L K Advani met the prime minister in the evening to complain against Bhardwaj’s “unconstitutional” moves.

According to Advani, the prime minister assured the delegation that nothing “unconstitutional” would be done.  “The prime minister assured us that nothing unconstitutional will be done in Karnataka," Advani told media persons following the meeting. The prime minister told them that he had not seen the report himself yet but the Home Minister had read it, said Advani. The delegation renewed its demand for Bhardwaj’s recall for repeatedly “violating” the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
More pressure would be mounted on the Centre on Tuesday as Yeddyurappa along with all BJP MLAs left for Delhi Monday evening.

The chief minister will parade the MLAs before President Pratibha Patil at 5.30 PM on Tuesday at Rashtrapati Bhavan to demonstrate his majority in the state Assembly and demand for removal of the governor.

In Bangalore, the BJP leaders mounted pressure on the Centre not to dismiss the Yeddyurappa government based on the governor’s report. They hit the streets and staged a dharna here shouting slogans against the governor and calling him “anti-democratic” and “Congress agent.”

The BJP held a meeting of the legislature party, which was attended by 108 of the 120 legislators, as also a Cabinet meeting under Yeddyurappa in which two related resolutions were adopted – one reposing faith in the leadership of Yeddyurappa and the second, urging the Centre to recall the governor.

The Yeddyurappa Cabinet also took a decision to recommend to the governor to summon a session of the state legislature for 10 days from June 2. The decision was yet to be conveyed to the governor.

Though the contents of Bhardwaj’s report has not been made public yet, the governor is believed to have cited the Supreme Court judgment and maintained that the Yeddyurappa government had been reduced to a minority since last October, after the second vote of confidence.The governor is understood to have described the incumbent regime as “illegal” and expressed apprehensions of “horse-trading” in an apparently fluid political situation.

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