BJP ramps up calls for Bhardwaj recall

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Old 17-May-2011
BJP ramps up calls for Bhardwaj recall

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has stepped up its demand for the recall of Karnataka Governor Hansraj Bhardwaj after he recommended president's rule in the state.

The central leaders of the NDA were expected to call on Prime Minister Singh Monday evening to press for Bhardwaj's recall.

The calls intensified as beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, along with his 120-legislators, were expected in the national capital later yesterday.

Yeddyurappa was expected to present the legislators before President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to prove that he continued to enjoy the majority support in the state assembly.

This is the second occasion on which Bhardwaj has recommend the president's rule in the state, since his appointment in June 2009.

"For repeatedly defying the constitution, it is but appropriate that he be recalled as the governor," senior party leader Arun Jaitley, who is leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha said yesterday. He added that the NDA strongly condemned Bhardwaj's unconstitutional action.

"The governor's conduct is partisan and defies all constitutional norms."

However, there are indications that the governor's controversial recommendation, which is still with the Home Ministry, may not be accepted at all.

The core group of the Congress party feels imposing the presidents' rule in the only BJP-ruled southern state may not go down well with the people.

The feeling within the Congress party is that such a move may create sympathy for the BJP after its poor showing in the just ended assembly elections in five states. The BJP accuses Bhardwaj, who was the federal law minister before being appointed as the Karnataka governor after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance retained power in 2009 general elections, of being an agent of his former party.

The Congress party is also wary of its track record of bringing down governments in non-Congress ruled states, more so since Yeddyurappa has managed to drum up enough numbers to back up his claim of enjoying majority support.

The crisis in Karnataka aggravated after the Supreme Court last week set aside a Karnataka High Court decision to uphold the disqualification of 16 state lawmakers under anti-defection laws, in October last year.

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