HR Bhardwaj’s stint as Karnataka governor has been replete with controversies.
Long before his latest step on Friday of according sanction for chief minister BS Yeddyurappa’s criminal prosecution, Bhardwaj’s relations with the ruling BJP government had turned bitter.
Ever since he arrived as governor on June 29,2009, Bhardwaj has lent a sympathetic ear whenever Congress or Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular) members had any complaints against the ruling government. They went to him practically every week.
Every now and then Bhardwaj would use the platform of a function to which he had been invited to make caustic remarks about the state government.
Serious conflict started with Bhardwaj’s tirades against the government over illegal constructions being regularised subsequently by local bodies.
It grew bigger after Bhardwaj refused to clear the cow slaughter bill the state government wanted passed.
The governor’s trenchant criticism of the illegal mining activities of state ministers Janardhan Reddy and Karunakara Reddy — the Bellary brothers — drew fresh blood in December 2009. When Bhardwaj spoke strongly in favour of Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, who resigned claiming the government was blocking his efforts to fight corruption, the relationship got even worse.
One of the confrontations Bhardwaj had with the legislature was when he asked the CM to face a trust vote, despite speaker disqualifying 14 BJP and 5 independents. The governor forced him to take another. Yeddyurappa won both trust votes.