BJP leaders meet President, seek Bhardwaj’s recall

Monday, January 24, 2011

NEW DELHI - Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders met President Pratibha Patil Monday and sought Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj’s recall, with party leader L.K. Advani calling him biased and accusing him of “insulting the Constitution”.

“We have come to knock the doors of the president as his (Bhardwaj’s) way of dealing with things is against the constitution,” Advani said at Rashtrapati Bhavan, referring to the governor sanctioning prosecution of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa on allegations of corruption.

“The governor has insulted the constitution. He was biased from day one and has let his post down,” added Advani.

The BJP alleged the governor was trying to fulfil his political ambitions.

Senior party leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Venkaiah Naidu and party MPs from Karnataka were part of the delegation that met the president and gave her a memorandum.

Terming Bhardwaj’s conduct “unconstitutional”, the BJP leaders cited his statements to the media to allege that he has been “very confrontational with the government”.

“The dignity and the prestige of the office of the governor, in Karnataka, has suffered a great deal. Therefore, we are constrained to complain against Shri H.R. Bhardwaj,” the memorandum said, urging the president to initiate steps to recall the governor so that “constitutional order can be restored in the state”.

Referring to Bhardwaj’s action of sanctioning prosecution of the chief minister, the memorandum said “it was done in undue haste with political motives” and “caused anguish” to the state’s people.

The memorandum said that the “mindset of His Excellency is motivated by extraneous and collateral purposes” and said a governor cannot substitute himself for a commission of inquiry or the Lok Ayukta (ombudsman).

Accusing Bhardwaj of acting from “personal and political malice”, the memorandum said the governor had been showing a “confrontationist attitude” from the very start.

“From the day one, he has been exhibiting extra-constitutional and confrontationist attitude. On his very first visit outside the Raj Bhavan on July 9, 2009, addressing a public function at Tumkur, the governor started his tirade against the government.”

It said that the governor’s attitude has also been “mostly partisan in nature”.

“The statements attributed to the governor while addressing various public functions in the state and also while speaking to the media both at the Raj Bhavan and also on the sidelines of public functions, smack of political motivation… His statements in the media virtually give the impression that the governor is the leader of the opposition,” the memorandum said.

Quoting Bhardwaj’s remarks, the memorandum said “he has crossed all the boundaries which circumscribe the office of the governor as constitutional head of the state”.

The memorandum said an impression is created in the minds of the general public as well as in the mass media that the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore has been politicised and misused by the opposition parties for political gains.

The memorandum also raised questions over Bhardwaj’s role during the vote of confidence in October.

“The signals emanating from the Raj Bhavan in Bangalore clearly demonstrate that the governor is unable to resist political temptation and is keen to join back mainstream politics,” it said.

Referring to the “ulta chor kotwal ko dante (thief harking at police)” remark attributed to Bhardwaj, the memorandum said “it amply demonstrates the biased attitude of the governor… Further, by making such derogatory comments, he has insulted the chief minister, the cabinet and the entire state of Karnataka”.

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