Centre sets aside Governor report

BJP dubs it a victory for the State government

Centre sets aside Governor report

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA), which met here late on Sunday night, decided to reject the report following the Union Home Ministry’s observation that the governor’s report was not fit for invoking Article 356 in the State. "The CCPA discussed the governor’s report and after careful consideration decided not to accept his recommendations," Home Minister P Chidambaram told reporters after the meeting.
However, the Home Ministry will write to the Karnataka government  asking it  to address the issues raised by the governor in his special report.

Chidambaram said an advisory would be sent to the State government and hoped that the government would take note of it. The advisory will be mainly on preventing alleged horse trading and breakdown of law and order and constitutional machinery.

Based on the CCPA decision, the Centre has communicated to the governor to call the assembly session as per the procedure laid down in the constitution, source said.
Reacting to the Centre’s decision, State BJP chief K S Eshwarappa told Deccan Herald, “it is a victory for the government and a slap on the face of the governor.”  Eshwarappa, however, said the party would now redouble its effort to seek Bhardwaj’s removal.

This is the second time in the past one year that the governor’s report on imposition of President’s rule in Karnataka has been set aside. The Centre rejected the first report sent by Bhardwaj after the controversial trust vote held in the Karnataka assembly in October 2010. The Centre was under pressure to take a decision on the governor report on Sunday itself as the Prime Minister, who is the CCPA chairman will be leaving for six-day African tour from Monday.

Earlier, Yeddyurappa left for Delhi on Sunday evening to hold strategy sessions with the BJP central leadership on the course of action to follow since the Centre was dithering over Bhardwaj’s report. Miffed by the delay in taking a decision on Bhardwaj’s recommendations, the BJP had, on Sunday, given a 24-hour ultimatum to the UPA government to reject the report or face a nation-wide stir.

By late Sunday evening, there were speculations in political circles in Bangalore that Karnataka Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah who, besides Yeddyurappa was indicted by the SC while setting aside his controversial ruling disqualifying 11 BJP and five Independent MLAs, would resign. When contacted by Deccan Herald, Bopaiah refused to comment.

Sources in the government said that the reason for rejection was that the Centre was worried over the legal scrutiny of the President’s rule. Besides, the UPA has a minority in the Rajya Sabha which could have shot down the recommendation when it came for its approval.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh chaired the CCPA which was attended by Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, defence minister A K Antony, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar ( NCP).

None of the three cabinet ministers from Karnataka—External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Law Minister Veerappa Moily and Labour minister Mallikarjun Kharge—attended as all of them were away from the city. Krishna was learnt to have opposed the imposition of President’s rule.

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