Bhardwaj in K’taka blunderland

via published on October 12, 2010

By R Shankar/India Syndicate

Bangalore: Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj has not only landed himself in a soup, but also sent politics on a tailspin in the State.

The Governor has been committing one Constitutional blunder after another, giving the BJP enough handle to operate political lever in Delhi to embarrass the Centre.

Here are Bhardwaj’s blunders (some say he acted under instructions – read Congress):

1. The Governor committed a major Constitutional blunder by instructing and then warning Legislative Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah on maintaining the status of the House as it existed before October 11. In effect, he told the Speaker that he cannot disqualify the rebel MLAs under the Anti-Defection Act.

Constitutionally speaking, the Speaker is the final authority in deciding on the Anti-Defection Act. The office of the Governor cannot issue any instructions. It is like President Prathiba Patil instructing Manmohan on the character of the Lok Sabha.

2. The Governor first recommends President’s rule over Karnataka and then does a U-turn by giving Yeddyurappa one more chance to prove his majority. Why? If he was convinced on Monday that the trust vote was not valid, what made him change his mind the next day.

3. The Governor has been seen hobnobbing with Opposition leaders and the rebel BJP MLAs, entertaining them in the Raj Bhavan when the Supreme Court had made it clear through varios rulings that the strength of the government should be decided on the floor of the House.

4. Whenever he received a memorandum from the Opposition Congress leaders, Bhardwaj used to directly write to the ministers concerned to give an explanation. He had summoned Tourism Minister Janardhan Reddy (who refused to go) and former Higher Education Minister Ramachandra Gowda.

This is the duty of the CM. Ideally, the Governor should have forwarded the letter to the CM seeking his opinion. It is like the BJP in Delhi petitioning the President over the Spectrum scam and the President summons Raja to the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, ignoring the PM.

5. The Governor has also been seen showing a keen interest in the mining scandal and had issued instructions on certain files.

Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday went hammer and tongs at Bharadwaj saying he had lost all impartiality and there is no constitutional crisis except for the one created by the gubernatorial office.

“The governor has completely lost his impartiality,” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley told the media here on Monday.

“We are of the considered opinion that there is neither a poliitical crisis, nor any constitutional crisis in the state. It is a crisis being deliberately generated by the gov of the state. I will give you five facts, which clearly demo that the governor of the state acted beyond the constitution. He has defied all norms of politics,” said the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

Jaitley said the governor has allowed the Raj Bhavan to be used for political purposes, for the purposes of destarabliing the state governmnet and indulge in horse-trading.

“They (disqualified MLAs) are virtually operating out of the Raj Bhavan,” said Jaitley.

“The constitutional mandate says (which late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi introduced) that a defector would be immediately disqualified. It is unprecedented that a constitution authority [governor] writing to the Speaker directing him not to exercise power under defection law.

“The governor almost threatened the Speaker and said that if he acted against him, his verdict will be not acceptable if he acts against the defectors,” said Jaitley.

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