BJP ministers skip Karnataka governor’s reception

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BANGALORE - For the first time in Karnataka, the entire state cabinet of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government kept away from the ceremonial Republic Day reception Governor H.R. Bhardwaj hosted at Raj Bhavan here Wednesday.

Though Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa had informed the governor that he would not be attending the party due to pressing engagements, including a visit to Mysore, not even a single member from the 30-member state cabinet attended the function on the lawns of the imposing Raj Bhavan in the heart of the city.

Among the noted opposition Congress leaders present at the governor’s At Home were former deputy chief minister Siddaraimah and former railway minister Jaffer Sharieff.

Similarly, none of the leaders from the opposition Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) attended the hour-long tea party held to mark India’s 62nd Republic Day.

Barring state Chief Secretary S.V. Ranganath, Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh, Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari and a couple of Indian Administrative Service officers, other senior officials were absent as well.

Bhardwaj, however, declined to comment on the absence of the BJP ministers and refused to be drawn into any controversy.

I have no comments to offer on those who have not come. The occasion is to celebrate the Republic Day and not discuss other things, Bhardwaj said.

Even during the ceremonial Republic Day Parade earlier in the day at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Military Ground, except Yeddyurappa and state legislative council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy, none of the ministers was present.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member from the state M. Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday hinted to the media that the ministers would boycott the governors tea party, as the head of the state was “indulging in politics and behaving like a Congress agent”.

The stand-off between the governor and the BJP government worsened after Bhardwaj sanctioned the prosecution of Yeddyurappa Jan 21 on a petition by two city advocates over the alleged land scams involving the chief minister and his close family members.

Filed under: Politics

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