India Insight

Karnataka governor’s sanction: Sagacity or political mischief?

January 24, 2011

File photo of a worker preparing for a rally by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Lucknow, April 4, 2004. REUTERS/Kamal Kishore/Files The tussle between the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Karnataka governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj has reached the President’s House with BJP leaders demanding the recall of Bhardwaj.

Could the Governor have avoided sanctioning the prosecution of Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa in the alleged dubious land allotment deals?

In an interview to Hindustan Times, Bhardwaj defended his decision, claiming there are “documented acts of corruption which have cost the state nearly 500 crore rupees.”

That Bhardwaj, a former union law minister, is a Congress loyalist is no hidden truth. And several political observers have conceded that he has dragged the office of the governor into the Congress-BJP mudslinging over various corruption scandals.

“Such permission to prosecute the CM or any minister has to be first sought from the government and not directly from the Governor. This case creates an unanticipated scenario, where it seems that the decision of the Governor may not be beyond question and could be viewed as a political decision,” former Lok Sabha secretary general and Constitutional expert Subhash C Kashyap told the Indian Express.

Last year, the BJP, joined by other opposition parties, blocked proceedings of parliament’s winter session to demand a probe into the telecoms scam that may have cost India $39 billion, resulting in the house’s least productive session in 25 years.

But to have the higher moral ground, shouldn’t the BJP keep its own house in order first by acting tough on Yeddyurappa’s alleged deals and not merely calling them immoral?

And would a probe into the alleged scam be better than sanction of prosecution of the chief minister? Share your views.

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