Home India Politics Karnataka awaits president’s rule

Karnataka awaits president’s rule


Bangalore : Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur was Tuesday waiting for the central government’s approval to bring the state under the president’s rule after the collapse of the coalition ministry Monday amid high political drama.

Raj Bhavan sources told IANS here the state would come under the president’s rule in a day or two after the union cabinet approves the governor’s recommendation for it and forwards it to President Pratibha Patil for formal proclamation.

According to reports from New Delhi, the union cabinet was scheduled to meet late Tuesday to, discuss among other things, the governor’s report and decide on the central rule in the state. The governor’s report was sent late Monday to the union home ministry, recommending the president’s rule and dissolution of the state legislative assembly with immediate effect.

Though Raj Bhavan was yet to issue a communiqué on the governor’s report, the recommendation was made within hours after beleaguered Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) resigned in the wake of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) withdrawing support Sunday and the opposition Congress sought the dismissal of the lame-duck government.

When imposed, it will be for the fifth time Karnataka will come under a spell of the president’s rule, after a long gap of 17 years. The state first came under a yearlong president’s rule for in March 1971 with the exit of Veerandra Patil of the Congress as chief minister.

Interestingly, Patil was again the chief minister when the president’s rule was imposed for the fourth time in October 1990. It lasted only for a week.

The president’s rule was imposed for the second time, for 52 days, after D. Deveraj Urs resigned in December 1977 when he broke away from the Congress after revolting against the then party president Indira Gandhi.

The state witnessed the central rule for over seven months during April-November 1989 when Janata Dal chief minister S.R. Bommai was dismissed after his party lost majority in the lower house following a revolt and defections.

The governor’s recommendation to dissolve the 225-member legislative assembly cuts short the five-year tenure of the 12th lower house by about 20 months. Constituted in mid-May 2004 after the general elections, the dissolved assembly witnessed 165 sessions during the last 40 months.

A fractured verdict prevented the three mainstream political parties – the BJP, Congress and JD-S – from forming a stable government on their own strength.

Though the BJP emerged as the largest party with 79 members, it failed to muster the requisite halfway mark of 113 seats to form its first government in south India even with the support of its then ally Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which had five legislators in the lower house.

To prevent the president’s rule, fresh elections and to keep the BJP out of power, the JD-S joined hands with the Congress to form the first coalition government in the state.

As the Congress was numerically stronger with 65 seats against 58 of the JD-S, it staked claim to the chief minister’s post – as had happened in neighbouring Maharashstra.

With N. Dharam Singh of the Congress as chief minister and Siddaramaiah and M.P. Prakash of the JD-S as his deputy subsequently, the coalition government lasted for 20 months, but collapsed after a section of the JD-S, led by Kumaraswamy revolted and joined hands with the BJP to form the second coalition government in February 2006.

As in the case of the previous Congress-JD-S government, the outgoing JD-S-BJP coalition government could not last full term, as the JD-S failed to transfer power to BJP after its 20-month term, in keeping with the agreement between the JD-S and the BJP when they came together 20 months ago.

The resignation of all the 17 BJP ministers Oct 3 and the party’s withdrawal of support to the coalition government Sunday led to the dramatic resignation of Kumaraswamy and the governor’s recommendation for the imposition of the president’s rule in the absence of any alternative to form the next government with the requisite numbers.