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Karna crisis: Gov Bhardwaj justifies recommending PR
Published on 18 May. 2011 12:07 AM IST
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Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj late Tuesday clarified that he recommended president’s rule in the state as there was breakdown of the constitutional mechanism on the day the confidence vote in October last year.
“The intervention under Article 356 (1) of the Constitution of India (recommending president’s rule) is not limited to a situation of government losing its majority in the assembly. The intervention is called for whenever there is breakdown of constitutional mechanism in the state. The breakdown of constitutional mechanism also can occur in several other ways,” the governor said in a communique to the media.
Explaining why he recommended president’s rule despite the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently enjoying majority of 121 in the 225-member legislative assembly, including one nominated member, Bhardwaj said the speaker (K.G. Bapaiah) in collusion with the chief minister (B.S. Yeddyurappa) had distorted the character and composition of the assembly for extraneous reasons Oct 10 last year by disqualifying 16 legislators just before the crucial floor test the following day (Oct 11).
“The Supreme Court in S.R. Bommai vs Union of India (1994) 3 SCC held that ‘proper course for testing the strength of the ministry is holding the test on the floor of the house’. That alone is the constitutionally ordained forum of seeking openly and objectively the claims and counter-claims in that behalf,” the governor said, quoting from the May 13 judgment of the Supreme Court.
The 16 lawmakers included 11 from the ruling party and five Independents.
A division bench of the apex court headed by Justice Altamus Kabir and Justice Cyriac Joseph May 13 restored the membership of the 16 lawmakers by setting aside the disqualification order of the Karnataka speaker.
“The actions of distorting the character of the assembly were resorted to by the chief minister and the speaker, as noted by the Supreme Court of India in its judgment, to enable the floor test to succeed. The sanctity of the floor test has been deliberately subverted, thereby resulting in the breakdown of the constitutional mechanism, as the legislative assembly is a creation of the Constitution under Article 168,” the communiqué pointed out.
Yeddyurappa parades 122 MLAs
Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa (BSY) met President Pratibha Patil and has paraded 122 MLAs before her to prove that he has the numbers in the Assembly.
Emerging from the meeting, BJP president Nitin Gadkari said they had also requested the President to recall Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj. Gadkari said Bhardwaj’s “action was unconstitutional”, referring to his recommendation that President’s Rule be imposed in Karnataka. Gadkari pointed out that Yeddyurappa “has the support of 122 MLAs” in the 225-seat Assembly. The BJP ensured that the show of strength was indeed that, with top leaders of the party accompanying their Chief Minister and his MLAs to Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Ahead of the meeting, Yeddyurappa had said, “We are 101 percent confident of a majority and staking claim to form government.”
Cong warns of en masse resignations
The opposition Congress on Tuesday threatened to resign en masse if the Yeddyurappa government is given a breather. “In the event of the governor not recommending President’s rule, the Congress will continue its fight against the Yeddyurappa government. We will not hesitate to resign en masse,’’ a senior Congress leader said, soon after a meeting of senior leaders.
“We welcome the governor’s move (recommendation of dismissal of state government),’’ state Congress president G Parameshwara told reporters here. “If the corrupt BJP government is not dismissed, we will also organize a statewide agitation. We have already alerted all our district units to be ready for it,” he added. The meeting also devised strategies to pressure Centre to dismiss the BSY’s government, based on the special report sent by Bhardwaj.

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