Terming the political crisis in Karnataka as a "clash" between two constitutional authorities, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily has said it was up to the "right-minded" people to decide who is right.
Moily, a former Karnataka Chief Minister, refused to get drawn into the debate over the role of Governor H R Bhardwaj, his predecessor in the Law Ministry.
When asked about the decision of Bhardwaj to 'advise' the Speaker to maintain the position of the legislative assembly when Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa was asked by the Governor to prove his majority, Moily said it was a not a transgression on the authority of the Speaker.
"It was an opinion....it is your perception (that it was a transgression)."
On being persisted, Moily told Karan Thapar on Devil's Advocate: "It is a question of clash of two constitutional authorities -- one the Governor and the other the Speaker. Who is right on this is a question people should decide...right-minded people should decide, not the interested party like the BJP."
"As a Law Minister I cannot pass a value judgement...and in fact, whether the BJP has raised certain objections...yes they are the interested party. I don't think we can take their suggestions as objective and impartial," he said.
To a question on recalling Bhardwaj from Raj Bhawan, he said, "It is a constitutional process involved. Just because some opposition leaders want recall of the Governor...you know it's not done, unless it is objectively based on merit."
Asked whether the Governor should voluntarily step aside as he had become a figure of controversy, Moily said that question will not arise "in view of my first answer".
Asked if he was 'distancing' himself from Bhardwaj, he said, "When certain issues are raised, defending or protecting will not come. Because it may be attributed to me that I am taking the side of Mr Bhardwaj because he happens to be in my party or my predecessor. It is not done like that....It will not even benefit Mr Bhardwaj even if he is on the right line."
When the anchor persisted that Moily was deliberately avoiding a comment on the role of Bhardwaj, he said it was not the case.
"It is a question of assessing things on a correct perspective. And the stage has not come to me to assess because it has not reached that kind of a position where a Law Minister can offer his remarks," Moily said.