Bangalore: After triggering a major controversy recommending President’s rule, Governor H R Bhardwaj today said the BJP government in Karnataka enjoyed a massive majority, but Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa still gunned for his removal.
On his part, the Governor ruled out quitting and declared he will continue till he completes his 5-year term. The day was marked by a brief bonhomie when the two principal characters in the high-voltage political drama shared the stage at an official function for the first time after Bhardwaj’s action on Sunday recommending to the Centre imposition of President’s rule.
On the stage, sitting next to each other, they were seen speaking animatedly with Bhardwaj placing his hands on the Chief Minister’s arm. In his speech later, the Governor said, “The chief minister is an elected representative. Massive majority he has. Nobody ever disputes that. We are friends. These political tensions are irrelevant. We have to dedicate ourselves to the Constitution and to the laws.”
He described Yeddyurappa as a hard-working chief minister who has been toiling for the development of the state. “He is working for 18 to 20 hours a day,” he said.
Notwithstanding his warm words, the chief minister maintained that the governor must go and “there is no change in our stand” on the demand for his recall. He said because of the past experience with him of his “attempts to destabilise the government from Day One”, the national leadership of the BJP and he himself had urged the President and Prime Minister for the Governor’s recall.
“There is no no change in the stand. We have 121 MLAs and what was the necessity (for recommending President’s rule,” asked the chief minister.
Asked about the demand for his recall, Bhardwaj ruled out quitting saying he has a job to do as Governor of Karnataka. “I am performing the job of governor. Till the President issues an order, I will carry on and complete my five year term as governor of Karnataka,” he said.
To a query on his despatching a special report to the Centre recommending imposition of President’s rule, he said: “I have already communicated in writing. My stand continues. Let the Constitutional authority decide. I have discharged my Constitutional function by sending the report.”
In the last two days, the BJP leadership and chief minister had launched a high-voltage campaign against the governor. They had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil demanding rejection of his report and his recall.