Cabinet recommends president’s rule in Karnataka


New Delhi : The union cabinet Tuesday recommended president’s rule in Karnataka, within just 12 days of revoking it, after the weeklong Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government in the southern state fell when partner Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) refused to back it.

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The cabinet meeting considered the report of Governor Rameshwar Thakur while taking its decision — which puts the state under president’s rule for the second time in two months — said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi.

“The report has been approved by the cabinet. Recommendation for the imposition of president’s rule has already been sent to President Pratibha Patil,” Dasmunsi told reporters.

“At the earliest opportunity, we will bring the proclamation before parliament for approval. It will be followed by dissolution of the house,” he added.

The decisions came after a late night meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) Monday, a few hours before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left on a trip to Singapore to attend the India-Asean summit and the East Asia summit.

Sources said that Thakur had sent the mandatory report about the situation in the state within hours of chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s resignation Monday evening — that brought the curtains down on the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) first government in the south.

While the JD-S/BJP dalliance once again failed in the state, speculation in the capital mounted on what JD-S president Deve Gowda was doing in New Delhi. The former prime minister, who ruled that the JD-S would not support the BJP in the trust vote in the house, left Bangalore soon after Yeddyurappa’s resignation and arrived here late Monday.

The buzz was that the he was making overtures to the Congress and would meet a cross section of MPs in parliament.

The state was last put under president’s rule on Oct 9, when the JD-S led government collapsed because chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy refused to hand over the post to the BJP after 20 months as was agreed to.

Kumaraswamy and his father, JD-S president H.D. Deve Gowda, did a volte-face three weeks later and extended unconditional support to a Yeddyurappa-led ministry.

On Nov 8, the central government decided to revoke president’s rule and Yeddyurappa was sworn-in chief minister on Nov 12. But that government lasted exactly a week, dashing the BJP’s hopes of having its first state government in the south.

Even before Yeddurappa was sworn in, Deve Gowda had sent a letter to his BJP counterpart Rajnath Singh seeking a written understanding on 12 points for continuing JD-S support.

The thrust of the 12 conditions was a powerful role for his son Kumaraswamy. Disagreement over the conditions led to JD-S refusing to support the BJP on the floor of the assembly during a trust vote that was scheduled but not held.