UPA waits for court verdict before moving to sack BSY

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 12 2010, 05:51am hrs
The core group of the Congress, which met at the Prime Ministers residence on Monday, deferred a decision on Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwajs report recommending Presidents Rule in the state and is said to be waiting for word from the Karnataka High Court on the case involving the disqualification of 16 MLAs on Monday, including five Independents.

The party in the state, however, openly called for the dismissal of the state government but the central leadership is wary of being seen as sacking the BS Yeddyurappa government. For one, that would give the BJP a huge political handle in the state and at the Centre. Also, the Congress and the JD(S) do not have the numbers to form an alternative government.

But the leadership is learnt to be under pressure from the state unit which is in favour of Presidents Rule for at least six months so as to explore the possibility of an alternative coalition arrangement. That may lead to further horse-trading and discredit any government, a section of the leadership feels.Some Congress leaders are not so sure about the stability of an alternative arrangement given the unpredictability of the JD(S) leadership. In the 208-member Assemblyafter the disqualification of 16 MLAsthe Congress has 73 MLAs and JD(S) 28.

Asked whether Presidents rule will be imposed in the state, Congress spokesman Manish Tewari today said the government in Karnataka was a minority government and did not enjoy the confidence of the House. The Governor as the first citizen of the state has seen this. He has sent a report. We will comment only when the report becomes public, he said, adding: Obviously, it would be a complete travesty if a minority government is allowed to continue, particularly after what happened today.

Union minister and Congress general secretary in charge of Karnataka Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the Speaker had no jurisdiction on happenings outside the Assembly. No political party has jurisdiction over Independent MLAs, said Azad referring to the disqualification of five Independent legislators by the Speaker.