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PC supports Karnataka guv

A day after the Centre decided against accepting the Karnataka governor’s recommendation to impose President’s rule in the state, home minister P Chidambaram came out in support of the governor who has been under attack from the BJP, saying he had only performed his duty by sending his “elaborate report”.

delhi Updated: May 24, 2011 00:42 IST
HT Correspondents

A day after the Centre decided against accepting the Karnataka governor’s recommendation to impose President’s rule in the state, home minister P Chidambaram came out in support of the governor who has been under attack from the BJP, saying he had only performed his duty by sending his “elaborate report”.

“There is no question of recalling the governor,” Chidambaram told a press conference in response to the BJP’s demand for Bhardwaj’s recall.

Meanwhile, while thanking the Centre for rejecting the governor’s report, Karnataka CM BS Yeddyurappa reiterated his demand for Bhardwaj’s recall at a press conference here, saying the Centre’s decision had revealed that he had acted in a partisan manner.

Though the Centre has not accepted the Governor’s prescription, Chidambaram said he did not think anything wrong with the Governor raising various issues. “But the fact remains, the Supreme Court set aside the Speaker’s order disqualifying 16 MLAs and made observations which any fair-minded person will know are very strong strictures against the Speaker,” he said.

Chidambaram said the facts mentioned in Bhardwaj’s report were a cause of “grave concern” but were not sufficient to enable the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs to come to a conclusion as regards Article 356 (imposition of central rule).

Simultaneously, the panel had sought to assuage Raj Bhavan’s disappointment by deciding to send a formal advisory to the BS Yeddyurappa government on the points of “grave concern” highlighted by Bhardwaj in his report.

Chidambaram said this advisory was being formulated at the ministry of home affairs and should reach Karnataka by Tuesday. Lambasting the Centre over the advisory, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “This is the Home Ministry playing big brother role that is not a role the Centre is entitled to under the constitution.”

On its part, the Congress has rallied behind Bhardwaj.

“What immoral act has the governor done that he should resign? The governor has given his report to the Centre as per his constitutional responsibility. There is no question of recalling the governor,” party spokesman Manish Tewari said.

He said there was no contradiction in the Governor’s report and the Centre’s action on it: “Such views are based on the erroneous premise that the governor sends his report to the Centre when the union government asks him to act in a particular manner. Governor has the mandate to send a report apprising the Centre in his wisdom of his concerns and the Centre also has a right to take a decision with its wisdom.”