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Governor asks Karnataka Govt. to take trust vote again

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 04:47:30 PM, IANS

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Bangalore: Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Tuesday asked Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to take the trust vote afresh Thurday as the confidence motion a day earlier was carried by voice vote and it was vital to demonstrate proof of majority support in the house.

"In case you are willing to do so (i.e., move the confidence motion again), I give you a fresh opportunity to do so (prove that you have the majority in the house) by 11 a.m. on October 14," the governor said in a letter to the chief minister, a day after he recommended President's Rule citing "constitutional breakdown".

Noting that the number of legislators supporting the motion and against it was not recorded, Bhardwaj said the verdict was carried by voice vote and the proceedings were reduced to a farce in the presence of uniformed police and the ruckus in the house.

"A careful examination of the ad verbatim proceedings of the assembly Monday showed that you made no serious effort to prove your majority on the floor of the house. In the circumstances, it is incumbent upon you to demonstrate clearly and objectively in the assembly that you have the majority of the house," the letter pointed out.

Referring to his Oct 6 letter to Yeddyurappa, who heads the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the south, the governor said the purpose of summoning the house Monday was to enable the chief minister to demonstrate that he continued to have the support of the majority of the legislators.

"When the proceedings were held Monday between 10.05 and 10.10 a.m., the house was not in order with the presence of outsiders who are not entitled to be in the house. There were also complaints that persons who are not members of the assembly were also raising the voice. The motion was disposed of in a split second," the governor recalled.

The governor told reporters later that the "fresh opportunity" was not legally binding on the chief minister as it was only a "friendly gesture" out of kindness and in the wake of serious objections raised by the legislators of the Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) as well as independents.

"My advice to the chief minister is a friendly gesture. Though it will be unprecedented to hold a trust-vote again within days after it was held, there is no such provision in the constitution. It is a question of morality and upholding probity in public life," Bhardwaj told a hurriedly called press conference in Raj Bhavan.

Asserting that he had requested Yeddyurappa to prove majority in the house keeping in view the Supreme Court ruling in the S.R. Bommai versus Union of India case, the governor said a free and fair floor test was considered the best way to test the majority of the government in the house.

Bommai was the chief minister of Karnataka from Aug 13, 1988 to April 21, 1989. His government was dismissed by governor P. Venkatsubbaia after a dozen legislators of the then ruling Janata Party withdrew support.

In New Delhi, the BJP lashed out at Bhardwaj and said he should be withdrawn from Karnataka.

"He has defied all norms of political impartiality and constitutionality," BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, adding that Bhardwaj had allowed the Raj Bhavan to be used for "political purposes".

The governor had Monday recommended President's Rule after Yeddyurappa won a trust vote amid chaotic scenes in the assembly and 16 rebel legislators went to the high court against their disqualification by speaker K.G. Bopaiah even before the vote on the trust motion was cast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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