Following Supreme Court strictures against the Speaker disqualifying membership of 16 MLAs, Governor H R Bharadwaj dispatched a Special Report to the Centre recommending dismissal of the BJP government headed by B S Yedurappa, citing breakdown in the Constitutional mechanism in the State.
This led to a confrontation between the Governor and the Chief Minister at the State level on the one hand and between the UPA and the BJP at the Centre. Had the Centre acted otherwise, the BJP would have got a huge propaganda stick to beat UPA with at a time when the Congress-led Government was celebrating completion of second year of its second term on May 22.
While announcing the CCPA decision, Home Minister P Chidambaram also said that an advisory will be issued to the state government to bring the situation in state under control. Chidambaram hoped that the state government would take note of it” Defending the Governor, home minister said: “The Governor performed his duty and we took our decision.” rejecting the BJP demand for the recall of the Governor.
What is happening in Karnataka is in fact, history repeating itself. There is one constitutional position which is much-maligned and much-abused-that-is the post of Governor. More often than not, it is the Congress Party which enjoys the dubious distinction of treating the Governors appointed by the President of India as a pawn in the chess board of politics. Article 159 of the Constitution says the Governor shall discharge his functions in accordance with the law “to protect and defend the Constitution and the law”.
It may be recalled that former Home Minister Buta Singh in Rajiv Gandhi regime as Governor of Bihar, former MoS Syed Sibte Razi (Governor of Jharkhand) and former Nagaland Chief Minister S C Jamir (Governor of Goa) transgressed Constitutional norms. The track record of BJP which claimed that it is a party with the difference is not very flattering either as far as misuse of the Post of Governor is concerned. In 2002, the verdict threw a hung Assembly in Bihar. In a 324-member house, the RJD-led Alliance had 123 members while the NDA led Mr. Nitish Kumar fell one short with 122.
The then governor appointed by the BJP invited Nitish Kumar to form the Government. When in power in the National Capital, the BJP packed Raj Bhavan with RSS pracharaks as Governors like Sunder Singh Bhandari in Gujarat, Mr K R Malkani in Pondicherry, Mr Madan Lal Khurana in Rajasthan to mention a few. In 1989, Prime Minister V P Singh sacked four State Governors appointed by Rajiv Gandhi at one go. So, therefore, all major political parties has, at sometime or other have interfered with the functions of Governors. So, H R Bhardwaj in Karnataka is not alone to be blamed for working for benefit of his party.