Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What does the Karnataka Governor do ?

The Governor of Karnataka, Rameshwar Thakur, must be a most worried man. In this time and age, it is clearly understood that the Governor is the man of the Central Government, and hence in this case, the Governor would be seen to be acting in the best interest of the Congress. However, past judgments by the Supreme Court have severely bound the hands and feet of the Governor in terms of biased or arbitrary action. In fact, Karnataka is the home of the SC's Bommai Judgment where the Supreme Court started setting ground rules for what the Governor can do and cannot do in cases of political uncertainity. This was then followed by the judgment in the Bihar case that singed the Congress Government, cost them a pliant Governor and also earned them black marks from the President who was for the first time castigated by the Supreme Court for non-application of mind.
Till a couple of days back, the Congress seemed to be in a superior position, with Deve Gowda refusing to support the BJP. The Congress could then work on willing JD(S) members, and eventually get enough numbers to escape the anti-defection act. The wily farmer saw this coming, realized that he was standing on the edge of political insignificance, and quickly swallowed his pride and went back to the BJP. And now that the MLA's supporting the Congress's white hope have fled in the pursuit of power in the hands of the BJP, the Congress is left with little options.

Marked by a day of frenzied political activity, the BJP-JD(S) leaders fulfilled the formality of mustering 129 MLAs, more than the 113 required to form the government, and paraded the MLAs before governor Rameshwar Thakur for a head count on Monday.
The Congress, which triggered off the political activity in Karnataka on October 7 by submitting the letters of its MLAs seeking dissolution of the assembly, is awaiting word from the high command to act. Its strategy will be to foil BJP-JD(S) government from being formed. But whether this will be done before the government formation or if Yeddyurappa gets an opportunity to seek a vote of confidence on the floor of the House is to be seen.

One things is for sure, if the Governor does not accept the letters from the MLA's representing a current majority of the assembly, this battle will head for the Courts, and given current thinking, the Courts are likely to crack the whip hard. It's more likely that the Governor will give in and let the BJP form the Government.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 10:42 AM