SC remarks cooked CM's goose: Congress

On the streets again: The State BJP leaders march in a protest rally, demanding recall of Governor H R Bhardwaj, in Bangalore on Monday. dh photo

A section of the Congress leaders at the the State and the Central level, have maintained that the Governor being the Constitutional head and a legal expert, knows full well what he was doing. The Supreme Court order assumes significance all over again, they say, where Yeddyurappa's application was quashed, while both he and Bopaiah were condemned by the Court for their act last October.

In its order, the apex court highlights that with indications that Yeddyurappa had "forfeited the confidence of the people", the Chief Minister's complaint filed against the legislators had no merit.

"The Disqualification Application filed by Yeddyurappa contained only bald allegations, which were not corroborated by any direct evidence. The application did not even mention the provision under which the same had been made. By allowing K S Eswarappa (BJP state president), who was not even a party to the proceedings, and M P Renukacharya and Narasimha Nayak to file their respective affidavits, the short-comings in the Disqualification Application were allowed to be made up," Justice Altamas Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph observed.

Further slamming the Speaker for behaving in a "partisan" manner and having disqualified the legislators "hastily", the Bench observed that the Speaker did so to "ensure that the trust vote did not go against the Chief Minister".

"Incidence of partisan behaviour on the part of  the Speaker will be evident from the fact that not only were the Appellants not given an adequate opportunity to deal with the contents of the affidavits affirmed  by K S Eswarappa, M P Renukacharya and Narasimha Nayak, but the time given to submit the show-cause on October 10, 2010 was advanced from 5 pm to 3 pm, making it even more difficult for the Appellants to respond to the notices in a meaningful manner," the order adds.

State Congress president Parameshwara and Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Siddaramaiah argue that the Supreme Court has only restored the Assembly membership of 11 MLAs, who were elected under the BJP symbol, and nowhere has it said that they are BJP MLAs.

The ruling party had expelled the 11 members from the party for submitting a letter to the Governor withdrawing their support and never revoked that order. Hence, they cannot claim to be BJP MLAs. The government has been reduced to a minority, they said.
 A BJP leader interpreted the Supreme Court in another way. He felt that Supreme Court had quashed the Speaker’s disqualification order on the premise that they were BJP members and their membership to the party stands valid.

‘Dump BSY and save the govt’

Political circles are abuzz with rumours that the BJP’s first ever government in south India could be saved if the party changes the leadership. The grapevine predicates its argument on the Governor basing his report recommending the President’s rule on the Supreme Court indicting Yeddyurappa and Bopaiah.

Former advocate general B V Acharya said the Centre has no resort to Article 356 of the Constitution to punish a chief minister for a mistake committed by him in the past.

The Centre can impose President’s Rule on the State only if there is a constitutional breakdown or the incumbent government has lost majority in the Assembly, he pointed out.

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