Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Every dog serves its master. No wonder, Karnataka Governor H.R.Bhardwaj, who is in this post because of loyalty to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, has recommended for President’s rule in the State, which, if accepted, would unseat BJP Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa.
He is the man, who as union law minister, had taken initiative to de-freeze bank accounts of Sonia Gandhi’s close friend Ottavio Quattrocchi, ill-famed as the corrupting commission agent of Bofors Gun that had, on exposure, costed Rajiv Gandhi his Prime Minister post and ultimately had led to his murder. While de-freezing Quattrocchi’s bank accounts, Bhardwaj had not even consulted the CBI, which had factored the freezing. He was marked for this loyalty to Sonia and her family more conspicuously than any loyalty to law as a law minister before being appointed a governor. Therefore, his step against Yeddyurappa is being looked at as a Congress game against the BJP government.
But, Yeddyurappa ministry deserves dismissal, if probity deserves priority.
Yeddyurappa might have lost his position in October last year had the Assembly Speaker not come to his rescue by disqualifying as many as 16 MLAs that had revolted against him for what they termed as his nepotism.
Supreme Court of India has quashed the Speaker’s ruling and thus the disqualified MLAs have got back their lost position.
Yeddyurappa should unperturbedly have sought confidence vote after the apex court verdict and if these MLAs, in the mean time, have changed their mind, he certainly could have won the confidence vote. In that case, the Governor might never have found any reason to recommend for President’s rule. But, he cultivated signatures of the rebel MLAs in his support and this clearly indicated political horse trading, which, in the Governor’s judgement was blatantly injurious to the State’s politico-administrative health .
As such, he was not at all wrong in recommending for President’s rule.
And, as such, the BJP march before the President in exhibiting its floor strength was entirely misconceived and uncalled for.
Yet, it is imperative on part of the President, if she, on seeing the BJP parade, considers not to accept the governor’s recommendations, to ask the MLAs now being projected as that party’s prodigal sons, to faithfully reveal as to why exactly had they revolted against Yeddyurappa and how exactly and on what reason are they now convinced that their earlier revolt against their chief minister was wrong and anti-people. If they fail to come forward with convincing reasons, the BJP parade should be ignored and in stead of allowing anti-democracy dramas of show of strength in the Assembly floor, the Assembly should be dissolved and President rule should be imposed to allow people of Karnataka to elect their Assembly afresh. An Assembly should not be made a stage for horse trading.
But, with Bhardwaj as Governor, the President rule would be looked at askance. His proven loyalty to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will never assure people of impartiality of administration during the crucial phage before election to take place. Hence,Karnataka should be given a new governor in place of Bharadwai also, with strict instruction to act as per advice of a board of advisors drawn from outside the State till elections would be over and new government takes over.
In an earlier posting in these pages we had stressed that Smt Prativa Patil, should extricate herself from her Congress past; because the President, though the highest political post, is constitutionally kept above party politics. We now stress on that posting again.