Karnataka governor to visit Delhi, consult centre on his advisers


Bangalore/New Delhi : Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur is headed for New Delhi to discuss with the central government and decide on advisers to run the administration of the state, which is now under President’s Rule.

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According to sources, the governor is expected to call on President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and meet union Home Minister Shivraj Patil during his stay in the capital.

The state was placed under President’s Rule on Oct 9 following the resignation of H.D. Kumaraswamy as chief minister.

The 20-month old coalition ministry in the state with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) fell when Kumaraswamy’s Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) refused to honour the agreement for transfer of power to the BJP on Oct 3. BJP leader B.S. Yediyurappa was to assume the office of the chief minister for the remaining 20 months of the assembly term.

Sources in New Delhi said the central government had sent Thakur a list of probable advisers and he has now to make a choice in consultation with it.

The state assembly is under suspended animation, ostensibly to satisfy the Supreme Court verdict that the assembly should not be dissolved till the central rule in a state is ratified by parliament. This cannot happen before the winter session of parliament, which is due to be held late November.

In the meantime, reports in Bangalore indicated that the Congress and the JD-S were holding backroom negotiations to form another coalition government in the state.

JD-S president and former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda is also expected to visit New Delhi on Tuesday.

A JD-S leader said, “While we want the dissolution of the assembly, the Congress is very keen that elections should be avoided at this stage.”

However, there was no word from the Congress on a possible, fresh tie-up with the JD-S in Karnataka.

The 2004 general elections threw up a hung house in Karnataka and after that a Congress-JD-S coalition government was formed under Congress chief minister Dharam Singh.

About 20 months later, Kumaraswamy walked out with a handful of his party legislators and formed a government in alliance with the BJP.

If a Congress-JD-S government is formed again, this may be the second such experiment in the same assembly within a short span of 20 months.