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Central rule in K’taka
T.R. Ramachandran
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, November 20
After adopting a wait and watch policy with regard to Karnataka, the Congress-led UPA government brought the southern state under President’s rule for the second time in as many months and decided to dissolve the Assembly by approaching Parliament soon. Till such time that the Karnataka Assembly is dissolved, it will continue to remain in suspended animation.

This was decided at a meeting of the union cabinet here in the forenoon chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh before he emplaned for Singapore for the India-Asean Summit and the East Asia meeting tomorrow.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil signed the proclamation bringing Karnataka under central rule following the cabinet accepting the recommendation of Governor Rameshwar Thakur.

Union information and broadcasting minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told mediapersons that the cabinet had accepted the report of the Governor and urged the President to immediately bring Karnataka under central rule. He disclosed that the government would seek the approval of Parliament for imposing President’s rule and dissolving the Assembly in Karnataka.

The cabinet had met last night to take stock of the political situation in Karnataka in the wake of the Governor’s report.

The centre’s action comes within a day of the first BJP Chief Minister of Karnataka B.S. Yeddyurappa handing over his resignation to the Governor after their alliance partner JD (S) issued a whip to vote against the government seeking a vote of confidence in the Assembly in Bangalore yesterday.

Thus, Yeddyurappa’s short eight-day stint as Chief Minister came a cropper, as he did not want to go through the motions of being voted out of power. This also rings down the curtain on the unending political drama in the state.

Despite the Congress, BJP and the JD (Secular) initially desiring going to the people to seek a fresh mandate, the centre adopted a cautious approach and did not want to precipitate matters. It waited to see if a viable alternative could be found after the JD (S) had completed its reign of 20 months in power and decided not be back the BJP for the next 20 months as per the understanding reached in the first instance.

After changing its stand fleetingly, the JD (S) with a larger tally of legislators decided to pull the rug under the feet of the BJP, which brought the hopes of the saffron brigade crashing.

Meanwhile, the CPM called for early elections in Karnataka and observed in a statement that the events in the state pointed to the utterly opportunist role of the BJP which has shown that it is certainly a “party with a difference in its greed for power”. It threw democratic norms to the winds creating a drama of dharna before the Governor and parading its MLAs before the President thereby going back on its own earlier demand for dissolution of the Assembly and early elections. In any case the outcome of the sordid developments is that Karnataka has been saved from the danger of a communal party heading a government.

“The opportunistic role of the JD (S) has certainly eroded its credibility. No quarter should be given to any attempt to cobble together a government. The only solution is to dissolve the House and announce early elections,” the CPM added.

Simultaneously, former Karnataka chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was not in favour of his father and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s trying to work out an alliance with the Congress.

He disclosed in Bangalore that he had spoken to his father and pleaded with him not to knock on the doors of the Congress. “Under the prevailing circumstances, it is best to seek a fresh mandate from the people,” Kumaraswamy maintained.

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