The Karnataka Assembly defied the Constitutional Head of the State for the second day Friday by not adhering to his directive to the chief minister to prove majority “within today” and thereby threw a challenge to the Governor as well as to the Centre to “take a call” and dismiss the Congress-JDS coalition government.
Now the ball is in the Governor’s court, who will, in turn, lob the potentially hot political ball to the Ministry of Home Affairs to “take appropriate decision” against the errant Karnataka government which is playing truant with the Constitutional Head of the state.
The meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) of the Union cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been convened at 10 AM on Saturday which will study the Governor’s report. Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman are the members of the CCPA.
“Dil Ki Suneh Yaa Dhimaak Ki Suneh” (Should I listen to the heart or should I listen to the brain?) is the dilemma being faced by the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre. Constitutionally speaking the Centre must go by the Governor’s report and dismiss the rag-tag contingent of Karnataka and impose President’s Rule by invoking Article 356 of the Constitution.
This is a “constitutionally correct” step but this constitutionally correct step is also “politically unwise” move because by invoking Article 356 and imposing President’s Rule, the BJP will be walking into the trap laid by the Congress which will use the issue to pillory Narendra Modi government of misusing the Centre’s power to dismiss a Non-BJP government. However, there is another argument within the BJP that since “only cowards hesitate to bite the bullet” Modi government must not hesitate to initiate Constitutional Measures” but dismiss the “Constitutionally Errant” state government which is holding democracy and Constitutional Institutions to ransom, irrespective of the political consequences.
In one of the assessments of the BJP, the divided, demoralised and headless Congress is not in a position to initiate and sustain a nation-wide campaign on the issue of “misusing Article 356 of the Constitution” besides its own track-record on the issue being dubious and hence dismissal of the Karnataka government would be better so that the “BJP would be seen as taking Constitutionally Correct Steps” unmindful of the political consequences.
The tone, tenor, content and intent of the speech made by Congress and JDS members in the Assembly on Friday proved beyond doubt that the Congress was not interested in the trust vote, and its strategy was to buy time in order to bring back its MLAs if possible, and also tire the BJP to take drastic action – which it desperately needs.
— The writer S A Hemanth Kumar is a political commentator for the BJP...