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Karnataka: PM non-committal to BJP delegation
October 31, 2007 12:01 IST
Last Updated: October 31, 2007 13:23 IST
Mounting pressure on the Centre for revocation of President's rule in Karnataka, a high-level BJP delegation met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Wednesday and demanded that immediate steps be taken to ensure formation of a government in the state.
Led by senior leader L K Advani and party chief Rajnath Singh, the delegation of BJP MPs told Singh that four days had passed since the BJP-JD(S) combine staked claim for formation of government, but Governor Rameshwar Thakur had not yet recommended the revocation of President's rule.
BJP leaders also brought to Singh's notice Congress' demand for the dissolution of the Assembly and contended that the BJP-JD(S) combine has got the support of 129 MLAs in the 224 member-house.
The Prime Minister assured the delegation that the Centre will go "by the spirit of the Constitution, but did not give any specific timeframe" regarding lifting of President's rule in the state, BJP vice-president Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after the 30-minute-long meeting at Singh's residence.
"The prime minister suggested that governor should be given reasonable time. But we told him that four days have passed since we handed over the letter staking formation of government headed by B S Yediyurappa," Naidu said.
BJP leaders drew the prime minister's attention to a Supreme Court observation in connection with dissolution of Bihar Assembly earlier that shifting stands of political parties cannot be the ground for the dissolution of the Assembly.
JD(S) and BJP were running a coalition government in the state till October 7 when they parted ways after the former refused to transfer chief ministership to the saffron party. During the meeting, Rajnath Singh drew his attention to the developments in Jharkhand earlier when independent MLA Madhu Koda was sworn in as chief minister with the support of the Congress after the fall of BJP government.
Rajnath told Singh that he should ensure that such a situation would not be repeated in Karnataka, Naidu said apparently referring to the JD(S) rebel M P Prakash's attempts to form a government with Congress support.
"We briefed the prime minister about our apprehension of negating the mandate of the people in Karnataka and urged him to recommend immediate revocation of President's rule in the state," Naidu, who was part of the delegation which also included Karnataka leaders Yeddiyurappa and Anant Kumar, said.
"The objective of placing an Assembly under suspended animation inter alia is to explore the possibility of formation of a popular government so that the Assembly may ordinarily complete its five year tenure," the leaders told a memorandum submitted to the prime minister.
Observing that the "current delay" in revocation of the President's rule is disturbing, the memorandum said the Congress had already demanded dissolution of the Assembly and imposition of President's rule bypassing the support of the majority.
"Such an action will be clearly unconstitutional...we are therefore constrained to approach you to ensure compliance of Constitutional provisions and urge you to take immediate steps to ensure formation of a majority and popular government in the state," leaders told the prime minister.