Taking its campaign against Governor H R Bhardwaj to a new level, ruling BJP in Karnataka today decided to launch statewide protests tomorrow seeking his immediate recall for “insulting people of the State”.

Apprehending that Mr. Bhardwaj might sanction prosecution of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on alleged land scams on the basis of a complaint by a lawyers’ forum, a meeting of the BJP Core Committee decided to organise anti-Governor protests in all district and taluk headquarters.

BJP legislators and ministers would also march to Raj Bhavan on January 25 demanding that Mr. Bhardwaj “vacate” his official residence, state BJP spokesman Ayanur Manjunath told reporters.

He said senior BJP leaders along with state MPs would call on President Pratibha Patil on January 24 in Delhi to brief her on Mr. Bhardwaj’s conduct and to demand his recall.

The party also demanded an unconditional apology from Mr. Bhardwaj for his remarks yesterday that the state cabinet resolution of January 19 amounted to a thief admonishing the police.

The cabinet had asked the Governor to drop the proceedings to prosecute Mr. Yeddyurappa and Home Minister R Ashoka, saying such a move was nothing short of a “farce and colourable” exercise on his part.

“The Governor is behaving like a petty politician on the complaints lodged by two JD-S advocates,” Mr. Manjunath said.

“We are not fighting against the institution of Governor, but against the man, who has desecrated the office of the Governor,” Mr. Manjunath said.

The BJP also sought to drag the Governor on the Bofors issue, alleging that as Union Law Minister Bhardwaj he allowed Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi to go out of the country. “Mr. Bhardwaj should now say who is the thief.... and who is the police....,” Mr. Manjunath said.

Mr. Bhardwaj should tender apology “for insulting the cabinet and people of the State,” he said.

Besides Mr. Yeddyurappa, the meeting was attended by state unit President K S Eshwrappa, and BJP General Secretary Dharmendra Pradhan, in-charge of party affairs in Karnataka, and other senior leaders.

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