Guv checks Sakrama bid

Returns ordinance file; BJP on back foot
Last Updated 14 January 2010, 20:12 IST

Sending back the file containing the proposal for the ordinance, Bhardwaj advised the government to enact legislation after discussion in both Houses of the Legislature. He also observed that promulgating the ordinance a day before the model code of conduct came into effect may fuel a controversy.

“The government should take this matter to both Houses and discuss the changes and amendments in view of the law enacted in 2007 (the Karnataka Town and Country Planning and Certain Other Laws —Amendment Act) and its subsequent stay by the Karnataka High Court,” the Governor observed in a communique.

“There is another aspect to this matter. Elections to the BBMP have been notified and schedule of election dates has been published in the Gazette. On January 15, the code of conduct will be in force. The proposals contained in the proposed ordinance are not free from controversy, particularly the closeness to the electoral process,” he added.
Bhardwaj has also sought to know the government’s stand over a case pending before the High Court challenging various aspects of the scheme. The Governor’s decision has dealt a big blow to the BJP, which had intended to claim the credit for it during the elections. So, the Cabinet hurried through a decision on implementing the scheme via the ordinance route on Tuesday and submitted the proposal to Raj Bhavan on Wednesday. The BBMP elections are scheduled for February 21.

Opposition demand
Reacting to the Governor’s stand, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa said the BJP would explain to the people as to how the Congress and the JD(S) stalled the scheme from being implemented. “We will explain everything to people during the election campaign. The government’s intention was only to implement the scheme at the earliest.
The scheme was long-pending and eagerly awaited by people. Both opposition parties did not allow the government to table the bill in this regard in the recently concluded session. So, the government took the decision to implement it through ordinance,” he explained.

Yeddyurappa, however, added that he will follow the Governor’s directions.
Both the Congress and the JD(S), however, welcomed the Governor’s decision. “The scheme in its present form has a lot of anomalies and, hence needs to be debated in the State Legislature before implementing it. Moreover, the government deliberately sent the draft ordinance to the Governor very late,” KPCC chief R V Deshpande said.
In fact, sources in the BJP said the party would stand to benefit at the hustings either way. “If the Governor had promulgated the ordinance, the party would have claimed credit before the people. Now, it will blame the Opposition parties for spiking it,” sources pointed out.

The much-delayed Sakrama scheme envisages regularising unauthorised constructions across all urban local bodies.
DH News Service

Bhardwaj’s diktat
*Govt advised to enact a law after discussion in both Houses of the Legislature
*Governor feels promulgating the ordinance a day before the model code comes into effect may fuel a row
*Govt’s stand sought over a case pending before the high court challenging various aspects of the scheme
*The BJP would explain to the people how the Cong and the JD(S) stalled the scheme, says the Chief Minister

(Published 14 January 2010, 20:00 IST)

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