Centre may spike Governor's report

Centre may spike Governor's report

Rashtrapati Bhavan sources said that after being “advised” by the Union Home Ministry on some of the constitutional issues raised by Bhardwaj in his report to President Pratibha Patil recommending President’s rule in Karnataka, Rashtrapati Bhavan sent back the file to North Block. The sources, however, did not disclose whether the President has sought more clarifications from the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore.

Yeddyurappa on Tuesday evening paraded the legislators supporting his government before President Prathiba Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari led the delegation to Rashtrapati Bhavan. Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and114 party MLAs reached Rashtrapati Bhavan at 5:30 pm.

The UPA government at the Centre has taken recourse to procedural aspects in wriggling out of the situation “created” by the governor in also recommending “suspended animation” of the 224-member Karnataka Assembly. Bhardwaj’s report to the President has come close on the heels of a Supreme Court judgment lifting the disqualification of 11 BJP legislators.

The Home Ministry has realised that taking any decision as suggested by Bhardwaj will not stand scrutiny in a court of law. Hence, it is learnt to have advised the Centre to defer a decision on the report.

 “The issue is unlikely to figure in the scheduled weekly cabinet meetings as the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) has already discussed it,” government sources said. “The CCPA is empowered to take a decision on invoking Article 356. It has already scrutinised the issue. Therefore, the issue need not come before the cabinet for further discussion.”

 While soft-peddling on the governor’s report, the UPA government is currently faced with the BJP’s intensifying demand for sacking Bhardwaj.

The Congress on Tuesday sought to considerably tone down the import of  “the special report” sent by the governor. “The communication between the governor and the Centre is an ongoing routine process and need not be made public,” said a cabinet minister indicating the strategy of the government and the Congress.The communication between the Centre and the governor is exempted from public examination under the Right to Information Act.

Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari has given enough indication of his party’s defensive stand when he said that “the governor may send or may not send the report but the BJP is making unnecessary hype on the issue.”

A section in the Congress has questioned the “second faux pas” by Bhardwaj within a year that has “united a divided BJP house” and, “in fact, unwittingly given a majority to a minority government,” said a Congress leader from Karnataka.

“We have told Prathiba Patil that the governor’s decision was undemocratic and unconstitutional. Hence, President’s rule should not be imposed on the state,” Gadkari told reporters after the meeting. He said the BJP government in the state has the support of 122 MLAs.

Yeddyurappa said that he will take all MLAs and ministers to Raj Bhavan on Wednesday to parade them before the governor to prove his majority. He will request the governor to convene the assembly session on June 2.

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