Stalemate in Guv, CM fight continues

Stalemate in Guv, CM fight continues

Stalemate in Guv, CM fight continues

Refusing to climbdown on his stand, especially when Yeddyurappa has already requested that the Assembly session be convened from June 2, Bhardwaj has categorically told the chief minister who, on Tuesday paraded 114 party MLAs before President Pratibha Patil, that he would wait a couple of days before he officially learned of the Union Home Ministry’s views on his special report.

At the same time, Bhardwaj refused to quit the gubernatorial office, declaring that he would complete his five-year term. On its part the BJP continued to vociferously demand his recall.

Under pressure from a section of Congress leaders "to take a view" on Bhardwaj’s report, the Union Cabinet may discuss the issue “informally” on Thursday. Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily is expected to place his ministry’s view on the controversial issue during the Cabinet meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

The state government’s request to Bhardwaj for his nod to convene the Assembly session, which will pass some crucial financial bills as well as some budgetary allocations, including “seasonal schemes” that require implementation before the onset of monsoons, is a carefully crafted strategy to confidently convey that the Centre would reject the Governor’s report.

Despite Yeddyurappa’s request, Bhardwaj sought to see the end of the battle and politely told the chief minister that he would rather wait for the Centre’s response.

Sharing dais
Amid this deadlock, Bhardwaj and Yeddyurappa made some facile gestures to each other, sharing the same dais at the golden jubilee anniversary celebrations of the Karnataka Public Service Commission. Meeting for the first time since the Supreme Court struck down the disqualification of 11 rebel BJP MLAs last week, the two shook hands and chatted.

Seated side by side, Yeddyurappa and Bhardwaj leaned over to talk to each other with no indication of the friction between the two principles in the political battle that saw a defiant chief minister meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and subsequently the President to show that he enjoyed the support of his party MLAs.

Later, Yeddyurappa led a ministerial delegation to Raj Bhavan, urging the Governor to give consent so that the Assembly session could be convened and the full budget passed. The chief minister’s urgency is backed by a Cabinet decision of May 16 to convene both Houses of the legislature from June 2 to pass the budget “for better implementation of developmental programmes”.

According to the formal letter of request Yeddyurappa handed over to Bhardwaj, it was essential and appropriate for the state that the full budget be passed at the earliest by the legislature which has approved a vote on account for four months (till July 31).
The latter says that “as a part of the budget  we have announced several seasonal schemes including Suvarna Bhoomi and the programme for de-siltation of tanks. Such schemes have to be substantially implemented before the onset of monsoon.  This will not be possible with the present vote on account which allows for expenditure of only 1/3rd of the budgeted outlays.”

In his reply to Yeddyurappa’s request, Bhardwaj said he shared the chief minister’s “concern that important legislative business, especially the financial bills, should get the highest priority. I have no intention to block the session.  As soon as the outcome on my report is known, I will dispose of the file received on May 17 for summoning the session to meet on June 2 with appropriate orders”.

According to a senior state minister, who was part of Yeddyurappa’s delegation, Bhardwaj was cordial through the 15-minute meeting in which he said he was only discharging his duties and that he had no personal grudge against anyone.

Protests to continue
Replying to queries at a press conference after meeting the Governor, Yeddyurappa said the BJP will continue its state-wide agitation on seeking Bhardwaj’s recall. “We have asked our party workers to continue with the agitation”, the chief minister said. In protests  held across Bangalore and in some parts of the state, BJP workers raised anti-Bhardwaj slogans and burnt him in effigy.

To a query whether it was morally right for Speaker K G Bopaiah to continue in office following the Supreme Court’s observation that he had not followed values and principles of natural justice, Yeddyurappa retorted, “The Speaker will continue in his post”. 
Yeddyurappa expressed confidence that the Centre will respond favourably to his request not to consider the Governor’s recommendation.  “Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Home Minister P Chidambaram have assured us they will not go against constitutional norms and will uphold the democratic and federal structure of the Constitution”, he said.

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