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Cong, JD-S seek Yeddy’s ouster; BJP woos rebels
New Delhi/Bangalore, May 14 (IANS)
Published on 15 May. 2011 12:40 AM IST
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The BJP Saturday mounted pressure on its 11 rebel legislators to back beleaguered chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa as opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) sought his ouster.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley met some of the 11 rebels in New Delhi, a day after the Supreme Court restored their membership as also that of five Independent members. The court severely rapped Yeddyurappa and Speaker K G. Bopaiah over disqualifying them in October last year.
BJP’s efforts to win over the rebels came on a day when Governor H.R. Bhardwaj met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Bhardwaj said it was a “courtesy call” and Karnataka developments were not discussed.
“The Supreme Court has now clearly said the speaker and the chief minister acted in violation of constitution and procedural norms in dealing with their MLAs,” Bhardwaj told reporters in New Delhi after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Asked whether he would again direct Yeddyurappa to seek a trust vote following the 16 rebels winning back their assembly membership, Bhardwaj said, “It is too premature”.
On his nod for an assembly session from May 16, the governor said he would take a decision on reaching Bangalore, most probably Sunday.
Yeddyurappa, whose survival now depends on the decision of the 16 rebel lawmakers, decided to convene the assembly session from May 16 for ten days, hours after the apex court quashed the disqualification of these legislators.
However, BJP sources told IANS in Bangalore that the party’s central leaders were confident of convincing the rebels not to insist on Yeddyurappa’s immediate removal.
“Our central leaders have promised to solve the problem,” they said.
Yeddyurappa, whose fate depends on the 11 rebels, also sent three ministers M.P. Renukacharya (excise), Govind Karjola (Kannada and culture) and Umesh Katti (agriculture) to New Delhi to woo the dissidents. In Bangalore, the Congress and the JD-S insisted that restoration of the rebels’ membership had reduced Yeddyurappa to a minority and he should quit immediately.
They also demanded Speaker Bopaiah’s resignation in view of the severe strictures of the Supreme Court over his action of disqualifying the 16 lawmakers ahead of a confidence vote sought by Yeddyurappa Oct 11 last year.
In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the BJP was running a “minority government with manufactured majority”.
“Everything that the BJP is doing in Karnataka is absolutely rotten. Whether it involves the subversion of the constitution, whether it involves the communalization of Karnataka, and whether it involves the plunder of natural resources,” Tiwari told reporters. As demand for his resignation grew louder, Yeddyurappa waited for Bhardwaj’s nod for his decision to convene assembly session May 16, ostensibly to pass the state budget.
However, the move is being opposed by the Congress and the JD-S which have urged the governor not to agree to it.
State Congress unit chief G. Parameshwara and leader of opposition in the assembly Siddaramaiah told reporters in Bangalore that Yeddyurppa had “no moral right” to call the assembly session in view of the apex court rap on him and the speaker over disqualification issue. JD-S leader in the assembly H.D. Revanna alleged that BJP had begun “horse trading to win over the 11 party rebels”, and hence the governor should not call the assembly session.
Political circles in Karnataka were abuzz that BJP had offered cabinet berths or chairmanship of state-run boards or corporation with cabinet-rank to the 11 rebels in return for their support to Yeddyurappa. The BJP’ strength in the 225-member house now is 109, including the speaker. It enjoys the support of one Independent. The Congress has 71 members and the JD-S 26. One seat is vacant.

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