New Delhi, Oct 13: A BJP delegation led by senior leader L K Advani today called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and demanded that Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj be recalled immediately for "being partisan and converting the Raj Bhawan into an epicentre of horse-trading."
"We seek the recall of Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj. The developments of the last few weeks have clearly demonstrated that notwithstanding his appointment to a constitutional office of a Governor, Bhardwaj has utterly failed to politically detach himself from his political past," BJP said in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister.
Advani was accompanied by Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, her counterpart in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and senior party leader M Venkaiah Naidu. Home Minister P Chidambaram was present during the meeting.
"Extra-constitutionalism was his (governor's) firm belief and the use of extra constitutionalism to demonstrate loyalty was always his political strategy," Jaitley said later during an interaction with the media.
"Remaining politically impartial is not in his nature," he added.
BJP had earlier called Bhardwaj an "agent of the Congress" and demanded that the Centre recall him immediately.
"In recent weeks he (Bhardwaj) converted the Raj Bhawan in Bengaluru into the epicentre of political conspiracy to encourage horse-trading and destabilise the state government," Jaitley said.
He said though the first trust vote was "conclusive", the party agreed for a second trust vote as suggested by the Governor because it wanted to "avoid a constitutional confrontation rather than precipitate one."
In the signed memorandum, BJP has accused Bhardwaj - a former union law minister - of embroiling himself in several controversies with political leaders and even ministers.
Alleging that Bhardwaj was acting with a "pre-determined mind" to destabilise the BJP government in Karnataka, Jaitley said, "Within 24 hours of recommending President's Rule, he did a volte-face and asked the Chief Minister to seek a fresh vote of confidence on October 14, 2010 calling the earlier vote a farce."
he BJP party described as "perverse and motivated" the Governor's earlier recommendation to the Centre for imposition of President's Rule "literally within minutes" after the trust vote in the state Assembly on Monday.
"His public utterances, while accusing the state government and the BJP of baseless charges, extended to calling his gesture (by asking for a second Trust Vote) an act of charity against the Chief Minister. The decorum and the restraint required in a constitutional authority was completely missing," the party memorandum said.
Jaitley maintained that "in language, utterances and functioning", constitutional authorities were expected to act with dignity but in case of the Governor it was not in consonance with the dignity of the Constitutional office he holds.
"The essence of constitutionalism is restraint, convention, and not confrontation," he said. PTI