Sonia Gandhi holds discussions with party leaders on Karnataka crisis

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

NEW DELHI - Congress President Sonia Gandhi held discussions with senior party leaders on Tuesday to discuss the prevailing situation in Karnataka against the backdrop of Governor H R Bhardwaj recommending imposition of President’s Rule in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled State.

The meeting that was held at 10, Janpath, was attended by Union Law and Justice Minister M Veerappa Moily and Union Health and Family Welfare Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is also the All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary in charge of Karnataka.

Before meeting Sonia Gandhi, Law Minister Moily said the BJP’s onslaught against the Governor was an effort to cover its own mistakes.

“It is a character crisis within the BJP…It is a highly motivated allegation. It is a desperate attempt on part of the BJP to cover their own mistakes,” he said, while addressing the media persons here.

The Congress Core Group had earlier met here on Monday evening to discuss the situation.

Earlier today, Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj wrote to Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa asking him to prove his majority again on the floor of the Assembly by 11 am on October 14.

In his letter, Bharadwaj said the trust vote on Monday was improper and that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Government had failed to prove majority.

Bharadwaj said he was ready to give Yeddyurappa one more chance to demonstrate his majority in Assembly.

Bharadwaj’s fresh move is being seen as one to ease pressure on the Centre before a meeting of the Union Cabinet this evening. The meeting is likely to discuss the Karnataka crisis.

Karnataka High Court had earlier in the day resumed hearing on the petition challenging the disqualification of 16 MLAs by Speaker K G Bopaiah.

They were disqualified hours before the controversial trust vote won by the Yeddyurappa government in the Assembly on Monday.

Bhardwaj had on October 10 written to the Speaker, asking him to conduct the trust vote on October 11 on the basis of the party positions as on October 6 - with the BJP at 116, the Congress at 73, the JD (S) at 28, Independents at six and the Speaker.

After the trust vote on Monday, Bhardwaj, had, in a report to the Centre, described the vote as “a farce” and recommended the President’s rule.

Earlier, a one line motion moved by Yeddyurappa was passed, even as the House witnessed unprecedented scenes with the opposition Congress and the JD(S) refusing to accept the outcome. efore the trust vote, the Speaker disqualified 16 rebel MLAs, including 11 from BJP under the provision of the anti defection law.

In his order, Bopaiah said these MLAs have been disqualified under the provision of the anti-defection law as envisaged in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.hose BJP MLAs, who were disqualified are: Balachandra Jarkiholi, Belur Gopala Krishna, Anand Asnotikar, Dr Sarvabowma Bagali, V Nagaraju, Raje Kage, Y Sampangi, Nanjundaswamy, S K Bellubbi, H S Shankara Lingegowda and Shivanagouda Naik.

Former Ministers Venkataramanappa, Shivaraj Tangadagi, Goolihatti Sekhar and M P Narendraswamy and independent MLAs were also disqualified.

The disqualification of the MLAs had brought down the strength of the 224-member Assembly to 208. (ANI)

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