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The drama continues in Karnataka, Governor seems to lose support




The heading of this article seems to suggest that the Governor is the primary villain of the piece, but that is not entirely true. The Governor of the state of Karnataka, H R Bhardwaj, has behaved in a most inappropriate manner; over the past many months, he would comment on the internal state of the BJP, was picking a fight over ministers that he felt should be pushed out, and so on. But it is in the recent state of affairs over the dissidence in the BJP and the attempt to make the Government a minority Government, that the picture of the Governor has really got distorted. He first sent a letter to the Speaker instructing the Speaker not to make any changes in the legislature and claiming that he would have the ultimate responsibility to take a decision; and since the Speaker of any assembly would refuse any such letter, this missive was treated with contempt by the Speaker. Then, when the BJP Government managed to win the trust vote through a very controversial method (of disqualifying the dissident members of the BJP, and even more controversially, the independent members of the legislature), the Governor seemed to see red. He wound up sending a report to the Central Government that the state had seen a Constitutional breakdown and it was fit for President’s rule. However, even the Congress central Government did not see fit to consider the report of the Governor and instead decided to go in for such a notion (although the fact that the Congress Government did not have a majority in the Rajya Sabha could have something to do with this).

And there was more to come. Soon after, the Governor went into a expansive role. In a press conference, the Governor made several comments on the previous internal discussions that he had with the BJP Government, and about the various accusations of corruption that he had made against the Government. Further, the Governor stated that in an act of charity, he would allow the BJP Government a second chance and would ask them to take a second vote of confidence by the 14th. As expected, since the High Court has not yet taken a decision on the disqualification of the MLA’s, the BJP Government easily won the vote of confidence (and this time in a seemingly more legitimate and more controlled assembly discussion). They can now claim that they have satisfied the condition laid down by the Governor, under-cutting any further statements by him. Now it is only the High Court that can turn the clock back, and one does not know when such a decision will happen.
This second attempt by the Governor was met with shock by the State JD(S) and the Congress, both of whom obviously did not support this second chance; to the extent that Congress spokesperson distanced themselves from this decision and left the Governor hanging on his own decision. The BJP is also using this chance to go for a full fledged effort against the Governor and are enhanced by the statement of many legal experts who have faulted the Governor’s action. This has also helped in reducing the statements against the actions of the Speaker.




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