Centre still divided on Guv's report

Centre still divided on Guv's  report

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met on Friday night to discuss the Governor’s recommendation to impose President’s rule on the State.

Bhardwaj had recommended President's rule in the state following the recent Supreme Court ruling quashing the  Karnataka Assembly Speaker’s decision to disqualify 11 BJP and five Independent MLAs.

The CCPA is expected to meet again on Sunday morning. Manmohan Singh is leaving on Monday on a six-day African tour. The differences in the CCPA were on ‘the legal difficulties’ and obtaining Parliament’s stamp of approval if  a positive decision is made.
The CCPA is learnt to have decided to hold talks with the Left parties, SP and BSP to seek their support in the Rajya Sabha. Even if the parties promise to abstain from voting, the government could still consider the Governor’s report.

A meeting with H D Deve Gowda and Left party leaders was cancelled at the last minute.
The presidential notification on Delhi rule will have to be passed by a simple majority in the Rajya Sabha, where the ruling party has no numbers.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A K Anthony, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar attended Friday’s CCPA meeting. However, none of the three central ministers from Karnataka— External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge— were present. While Krishna and Moily are abroad, Kharge is in Hyderabad. Representatives of the DMK and Trinamool Congress also missed the meeting.

The meeting discussed the home ministry’s view on the report. The ministry is learnt to be against imposition of president’s rule as “it may not stand  scrutiny in a court of law.”
Earlier, the ministry scrutinised the governor’s report  and sent it to the Prime Minister’s Office to take the final call.

Explaining the difficulties of imposing President’s rule to a State Congress leaders’ delegation led by party general secretary in-charge of Karnataka Madhusudan Mistry, Chidambaram cited the lack of numbers in the Rajya Sabha, where the Congress and its allies have only 98 members,  falling short of 25 to push the measure through.
“Though the JD(S) led by former prime minister H D Deve Gowda promised to get 34 members’ support from Left parties and other secular parties, the Centre was not convinced about this as the Left parties have openly said they were against imposition of President’s rule,” sources said.

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