Shettar to meet Rajnath Singh amidst Karnataka crisis
Governor HR Bhardwaj has asked the Chief Minister to prove his majority at a special session of the Assembly.
Bangalore: Jagadish Shettar will meet Bharatiya Janata Party President Rajnath Singh on Sunday night even as the Karnataka Chief Minister struggles to keep his government afloat with 14 MLAs threatening to resign. The Karnataka government is in danger of falling if the Assembly Speaker accepts their resignation.
However, reports say the crisis may prolong till February first week, which is when the Governor HR Bhardwaj has asked the Chief Minister to prove his majority at a special session of the Assembly. Shettar and Rajnath are likely to discuss the strategy the BJP needs to follow in Sunday's meeting.
Asked about any threat to the government there, Rajnath said, "I am confident, there is no threat to our government in Karnataka. There is no crisis there." The BJP has accused Governor Bhardwaj of acting as a "Congress agent" after he said the Chief Minister could be asked to prove majority when the assembly meets on February 4.
In the 225-member Assembly, BJP has a strength of 117 excluding the Speaker and it requires 113 for a simple majority. Congress has 71 members and JDS 26. There are seven Independents and two vacancies. One member is nominated.
BJP Spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy attacked the Governor for convening the assembly on February 4 and said the right of convening lies with the Speaker of the State Assembly and not the Governor. "This right is with the Speaker. Karnataka Governor's intervention proves that the Congress is trying interfere in the affairs of the BJP-led Karnataka government," Rudy said.
Attacking Bhardwaj, he said, "In the present circumstances, it seems like unconstitutional. I feel Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj is acting not as a Governor but as a Congress agent."
On whether he has been in touch with former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who recently formed his separate party, the BJP President replied in the negative. Governor Bhardwaj said in Bangalore, "I have already summoned the assembly on February 4 (for Budget session) and if I feel that this government has come into minority, then I will order him (Shettar) to prove his majority at the first instance before transacting any business."
Buffeted by threats of instability to his government, Shettar told the Governor that he still commanded majority and hinted he has not been asked by him to prove his majority. "I told the governor that there is no threat to my government as I enjoy majority," Shettar said after meeting Bhardwaj.
Seeking to push the government into a crisis, the MLAs loyal to Karnataka Janata Party chief BS Yeddyurappa had gone in a delegation on Wednesday to meet Speaker KG Bopaiah to submit their resignation from assembly membership but he was not in station. They later submitted copies of their resignation letters to Bhardwaj.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)