Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is demanding the immediate recall of Governor H.R. Bhardwaj, has alleged that Mr. Bhardwaj, who had earlier publicly stated that he was first and foremost a Congressman, “has converted the Raj Bhavan into a political weapon for harassing the State [BJP] government.”

Mr. Yeddyurappa, who, along with party president Nitin Gadkari, BJP MLAs and party seniors, submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil here on Tuesday, said Mr. Bhardwaj's “Congressman” statement “itself shows that he has entered the office as an active politician and not as a neutral constitutional authority.”

Urging Ms. Patil to revoke the Presidential pleasure and recall the services of Mr. Bhardwaj as the Governor of Karnataka, the Chief Minister, who claimed to have the support of 120 MLAs, said though the BJP government had always extended respect and cooperation to Mr. Bhardwaj, the latter had been taking a confrontational stand against it on repeated occasions. He had been acting in a partisan manner. He had made several public statements criticising the functioning of the government, the Chief Minister and Ministers. 

“Irresponsible”

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the Governor had also made “irresponsible public statements relating to a variety of issues.”

“The Governor, being a constitutional head of the State, is governed by the advice of the Council of Ministers.  However, he appears to think otherwise.  He has refused to act in accordance with the decision of the Council of Ministers on several occasions.” 

No other conclusion could be drawn from the actions of Mr. Bhardwaj except that he had been “continuously misusing the office of the Governor to serve his and his party's political interests through unconstitutional and partisan decisions and actions.”

“His mindset and the conduct are motivated by extraneous and collateral purposes, less as a constitutional functionary and more as an activist of an Opposition party.  His utterances both in public and private amply testify the above conclusion.”

He said the Supreme Court had remarked in the S.R. Bommai case that “the exercise of power under Article 356 should under no circumstance be for a political game to the party in power in the Union Government.  It should be used sparingly and with circumspection...”