Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi today send a strong-worded letter to Hon'ble Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh regarding the role of the Governor of Karnataka who is trying to destabilize the B.S. Yeddyurappa's Government. He said, the Governor of Karnataka is bent up on destroying and demolishing the federal structure defined by the Constitution of India – a principle which is the basic nature of our country's polity. The Governor of Karnataka Shri H.R. Bhardwaj who has been a very senior Congress leader, instead of performing his duties as the Constitutional Head of the State, and acting like a bridge between the Union and the State Governments, has been indulging in activities in gross violation of Constitutional provisions, democratic principles and above all, the basic tents of Federal Structure.
Giving the sequence of events, Shri Narendra Modi said that in October, 2010 the Karnataka Governor asked the Chief Minister of Karnataka to seek a vote of Confidence in the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha. The Chief Minister got it by voice vote on 11-10-2010. Within 3 days, he was again asked by the Karnataka Governor to seek another vote of confidence, which the Chief Minister again got by division on 14-10-2010. Still, the Karnataka Governor recommended the imposition of President's Rule in the State.
The popularity of the Karnataka Government has not been in doubt and BJP, under the leadership of Sh. B. S. Yeddyurappa has swept through most bye elections, municipal elections and panchayat polls. More recently, the BJP won all the 3 seats in bye-elections to the Karnataka Vidhan Sabha, the results of which were declared on 13th May, 2011. After disqualification of 16 MLAs, the effective strength of the House was 207. The BJP, on 13th of May, 2011, had the support of 110 MLAs in a House of 207.
11 disqualified MLAs of BJP after the removal of their disqualification by Hon'ble Supreme Court have already announced their support to BJP. Pursuant to this development, the Chief Minister urged the Karnataka Governor to permit him to call the Session of the Karnataka Vishan Sabha to prove his majority once again. Surprisingly, instead of summoning the Assembly, the Karnataka Governor recommended the imposition of President's Rule in the state, inspite of the fact that the Chief Minister enjoys the confidence of 121 MLAs in the house of 224.
Shri Modi quoted various Supreme Court rulings which lays down the principles on functions of the Governor. In B.P. Singal Vs. Union of India (2010) 6 SCC 331 it has observed that “ “A Governor has a dual role. The first is that of a constitutional head of the State, bound by the advice of his Council of Ministers. The second is to function as a vital link between the Union Government and the State Government.
He is required to discharge the functions related to his different roles harmoniously, assessing the scope and ambit of each role properly. He is not an employee of the Union Government, nor the agent of the party in power nor required to act under the dictates of political parties. ...
The Governor is not the agent or the employee of the Union Government. As the constitutional head of the State, many a time he may be expressing views of the State Government, which may be neither his own nor that of the Centre.
Like the President, Governors are expected to be apolitical, discharging purely constitutional functions, irrespective of their earlier political background. Governors cannot be politically active.”
In the landmark judgement S. R. Bommai Vs. Union of India (1994) 3 SCC 1 it says:
“Let it be said that the federalism in the Indian Constitution is not a matter of administrative convenience, but one of principle – the outcome of our own historical process and a recognition of the ground realities. ...
The exercise of the power under Article 356 is an extraordinary one and needs to be used sparingly when the situation contemplated by Article 356 warrants to maintain democratic form of Government and to prevent paralysing of the political process. ...
The exercise of power under Article 356 should under no circumstance be for a political gain to the party in power in the Union Government..”
Shri Narendra Modi said that when several states are being ruled by different political parties other than ruling party at the centre. Such behaviour of the Karnataka Governor puts at stake the Federal Fabric of the country, which is one of the foundation stones laid down by our founding fathers.
He requested Hon'ble Prime Minister to urge the President of India to urgently recall the services of Shri HR Bhardwaj as Governor of Karnataka, in the true spirit of our Constitution and our federal framework.