The Congress-led UPA government is treading cautiously on Karnataka and will wait for Tuesday’s high court verdict on the disqualification of 16 “rebel” legislators before taking a decision on the future of the state.
The HC will on Tuesday hear a petition by the 11 disqualified BJP and five independent legislators who have sought quashing of speaker K.G. Bopaiah’s orders on the grounds that these were in “clear violation of statutory rules”.
The Cabinet will then meet to consider the court verdict besides taking a decision on governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s report to the Centre, recommending dismissal of the B.S. Yeddyurappa government and imposition of President’s rule.
While a majority in the Congress are in favour of President’s rule, the party’s core group on Monday deliberated on the options available.
The meeting, chaired by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and attended by PM Manmohan Singh, took stock of the situation besides discussing the Speaker’s decision to disqualify the rebel legislators. The speaker had also ignored the governor’s letter in which Bhardwaj had said the “configuration and character” of the assembly should not be changed before the trust vote.
The core group discussed various political equations and came to the conclusion that “no decision should be taken in haste”. There was consensus that political action should be decided only after the HC verdict.
However, some members opposed a tie-up with the JD(S) in view of the “bitter past experience”. “Imposition of President’s rule and keeping the assembly in suspended animation seems to be the only option left at this point,” a leader said. Officially, the party criticised the Speaker. “The farcical trust vote has exposed the BJP’s fascist face. The Speaker has misused the provisions of the Constitution to convert a minority government into a majority one,” spokesperson Manish Tewari said.