Bangalore, May 20: In escalation of political war in Karnataka, BJP today set a five-day deadline for the recall of Governor H R Bhardwaj and decided to intensify the campaign for his removal, accusing him of trying to rule the state. Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa charged Bhardwaj, who has recommended imposition of President's rule in the state, with “conspiring” with Congress and JDS to rule the state.
“The Governor has conspired with Congress and JDS to rule from Vidhana Soudha (the state secretariat). The Governor should be immediately recalled or he should quit on his own” he told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.
An emergent meeting of BJP state unit office-bearers, attended by Yeddyurappa, decided to form two teams to lead the “hatao Governor bacchao Karnataka (remove governor, save Karnataka)” campaign in 11 districts from tomorrow. The intensified offensive by the BJP came as the Governor ignored Yeddyurappa's deadline set for yesterday evening for his nod for convening of the assembly session from June 2.
Yeddyurappa accused the Governor of having converted Raj Bhavan into “a hub of political activities” to topple the first ever BJP Government in the south.
Stating that the Governor had been criticising the government in public and private functions in the last three years instead of guiding it as a constitutional head, he demanded immediate recall of Bhardwaj.
The fresh political war broke out after Bhardwaj recommended dismissal of the Yeddyurappa Government and imposition of President's rule following the May 13 Supreme Court verdict quashing Assembly Speaker's order on disqualification of 11 BJP rebel MLAs and five independents.
The apex court had criticised Speaker K G Bopaiah for acting in haste in passing the disqualification order ahead of the trust vote sought by Yeddyurappa on October 12, 2010 after 16 MLAs withdrew support to his government.
The current hostilities witnessed a brief spell of respite on Wednesday when Governor and Yeddyurappa presented a picture of cordiality with Bharwadj hailing the chief minister as working for the development of the state tirelessly and describing themselves as friends.
Yeddyurappa ruled out Bopaiah's resignation in the wake of the Supreme Court's adverse remarks, saying, “The Speaker has done a good job. He will continue for another two years.
Announcing the recall-Governor campaign, State unit BJP President K S Eswarappa said Yeddyurappa would lead on the two teams and the other by himself.
The BJP set a five-day deadline for recall of the Governor, whom it accused of indulging in unconstitutional acts and troubling the elected government in Karnataka. Eswarappa said, “If no decision is taken on the Governor's recall by then, we will intensify the stir”.
The BJP also staged a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi statue here against Bhardwaj demanding that he give his nod for convening the Legislature session. In a change of plans, Yeddyurappa and Home Minister R Ashoka stayed away from it. Several Ministers, including G Janardhana Reddy, Shobha Karandlaje, V Somanna, M P Renukacharya, besides Eshwarappa took part in the sit-in dharna.
“The Congress is trying to use the Governor and rule from the backdoor”, Reddy alleged, as anti-Governor slogans were raised at the venue.
The BJP government has insisted that the holding of the session is necessary to urgently pass the full budget for better implementation of the development programmes. The government also earlier said the Governor gave no response to the May 13 Cabinet decision to convene the session from May 16. The Cabinet then held another meeting on June 16 deciding to convene the session from June two.
The Congress has severely criticised the BJP for holding the rally, wondering how a Government can stage protest against its own head, and termed the agitation as one against the Constitution. PTI