Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has ruled out quitting office in the wake of Governor H.R. Bhardwaj according sanction to two advocates to prosecute him. “Why should I?” he asked at a press conference in Bangalore held after the sanction was accorded. He said he was confident of coming out clean, asserting that he had done nothing in violation of the law.
Nearly 10 Ministers, including Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai, V. Somanna (Housing), B.N. Bache Gowda (Labour), C.H. Vijayashankar (Forests), and S. Suresh Kumar (Law and Parliamentary Affairs) were present.
The Chief Minister referred to Mr. Bhardwaj as an “agent” of the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, who had converted the Raj Bhavan into an “office of the Opposition parties” and who had functioned as an “Opposition leader.”
“He is a disgrace to the office of the Governor, and rather than upholding the Constitution, has been playing politics from the day he took charge.”
Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Karnataka bandh on Saturday had been “total and peaceful” and was a response of the people of the State to the actions of the Governor.
“The people of the State have expressed their anger against the unconstitutional and malafide action of the Governor in collusion with the Opposition Congress and the Janata Dal (Secular).” The Chief Minister, however, refrained from reacting to a statement of the Union Minister for Home, P. Chidambaram.
To meet President
Mr. Yeddyurappa said his growing popularity in the State and rapid progress made by the government in developmental programmes, including the maintenance of law and order, “appear to be troubling the Governor. The functioning of the Governor, including his statements, will all be listed out and submitted to President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. All the BJP MPs from Karnataka, the party's central leaders and key leaders from the State, including [State unit] president K.S. Eshwarappa, will be calling on the President on January 24 and a fervent plea will be made to recall the Governor.”
With reference to the Governor's sanction and him citing an order of the Supreme Court in a case between the Madhya Pradesh Special Police Establishment and the State of Madhya Pradesh, the Chief Minister said the case had no relevance to the complaint made out by the two advocates here. In the Madhya Pradesh case, the Lokayukta there had fully investigated the matter.
He said: “The Governor even refused to give me a copy of his sanction. He told the Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister to go to the court on Monday and obtain it. The Governor did not have the courtesy to seek the opinion of the government on the same.”