Guv clears nominees for Council

Bhardwaj goes against precedent he had set four years ago
Last Updated : 24 June 2014, 20:11 IST
Last Updated : 24 June 2014, 20:11 IST

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Governor H R Bhardwaj on Tuesday went against the precedent set by himself for nominating members to the Upper House of the State Legislature by clearing the nomination of Congress leaders recommended by the Siddaramaiah government.

Former opposition leader in Council and Congress leader V S Ugrappa, former party MP Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi, Davangere district Congress president Abdul Jabbar and party leader Ivan D'Souza were nominated to the Legislative Council despite the opposition BJP crying foul.

Actor Jayamala, who has been associated with the Congress for many years, has also been nominated to the Council. Bhardwaj had in 2010 rejected the then BJP government's recommendation to nominate former minister V Somanna to the Council, citing Article 171, Sub-clause 5 of the Constitution of India which says that persons with special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, co-operative movement and social service are to be nominated.

A rehabilitation centre

On learning that the ruling Congress was planning to nominate party functionaries to the Council, a delegation of BJP leaders headed by Opposition leader Jagadish Shettar had recently submitted a memorandum to the governor, urging him to prevent the government from making the Upper House a political rehabilitation centre.

The delegation had also reminded Bhardwaj of his 2010 decision and hoped that he would not go against the Constitution. Bhardwaj's term as governor ends on June 29.
The Congress government had apprehensions that he might yield to pressure from various quarters and not approve the list of nominees. Hence, taking no chances, Siddaramaiah personally handed over the list to Bhardwaj on Tuesday evening.

Bhardwaj approved the recommendation and issued a notification in this regard within the few hours of receiving the list of names. However, the notification copy was not made available to the media by Raj Bhavan.

Ugrappa is a close associate of Siddaramaiah, but not on good terms with state Congress chief G Parameshwara. Senior leader Mallikarjun Kharge reportedly wanted Gulbarga man Saradagi to be made MLC as he had lost the Council elections last time.

Abdul Jabbar is a sitting MLC, and is close to minister Shamanoor Shivashankarappa, while D’Souza supposedly enjoys the support of former Union minister Oscar Fernandes.

Plea referred to HC division bench

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday referred to a divisi­on bench, the petition challenging the list of nominees sent by the Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to the governor for nominating them as members for the Karnataka Legislative Council.

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri directed the petitioner to convert the petition into a public interest litigation and approach a division bench.  The petitioner, Bannur K Raju has contended that the chief minister has sent names of five persons of a political party, contrary to Article 171 (5) of the Constitution which says that the governor has the power to nominate the names. 

The petitioner has contended that the chief  minister has no power to prepare the list of nominees and send it to the governor and that the former had ignored people from literature, science, art, Co-operative movement and Social service etc while making nominations. The petitioner has prayed the court not to approve the nominations sent by the chief minister.  

Published 24 June 2014, 20:11 IST

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