BJP asks PM to axe Karnataka governor


New Delhi : The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Wednesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to immediately recall Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, saying he encouraged horse trading to destabilise the B.S. Yeddyurappa government.

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BJP parliamentary party chairman L.K. Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and former party president M. Venkaiah Naidu submitted a four-page memorandum to the prime minister, accusing Bhardwaj of indulging in “extra-constitutionalism”.

“Extra-constitutionalism was his firm belief and the use of extra-constitutionalism to demonstrate loyalty was always his political strategy,” the memorandum said.

The BJP leaders said that on his appointment as governor, Bhardwaj embroiled himself in several controversies with political leaders of the state, including ministers.

“The Raj Bhavan provided an easy access to politicians of the Congress, the JD-S (Janata Dal-Secular), some preferred businessmen, including those who were aggrieved with the policies of the state government,” the memorandum said.

“In recent weeks he converted the Raj Bhavan into the epicentre of political conspiracy to encourage horse trading and destabilise the state government,” it said.

The BJP said Bhardwaj wrote to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah not to invoke his powers under the 10th Schedule and disqualify any defector following withdrawal of support by some legislators to the Yeddyurappa government.

“He further warned the Speaker that in case he exercised his power under the Tenth Schedule, the verdict of the legislative assembly would not be acceptable,” the BJP leaders said.

They said Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had agreed to the “request of the governor” for another trust vote to avoid confrontation with a constitutional authority.

The BJP leaders said the strategy of the Congress and the JD(S) was not to allow a vote of confidence to be recorded in the house by causing disturbances.

They said the governor’s recommendation for president’s rule after the voice vote Monday was “perverse and motivated”.

They said the governor made a volte face within 24 hours and asked the chief minister to seek a fresh vote of confidence Oct 14.

Taking strong exception to the utterances of the governor against the party, the BJP leaders said his language lacked decorum and restraint expected of a constitutional authority.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram was present during the meeting, BJP sources said.