Centre to wait for HC views

The Union government is expected to wait for the view of the Karnataka high court before taking a decision on the report of governor H.R. Bhardwaj seeking imposition of President’s Rule in the state.

The 16 disqualified Karnataka MLAs on Monday moved the state high court with a petition challenging the action against them by the Assembly Speaker. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the high court adjourned till Tuesday.
The Congress and government sources made it clear the Centre would not act in haste after realising that any decision (imposing President’s Rule) can be challenged in court. “It (the Centre) will wait to see what view the high court takes on this petition,” sources said.
The centre of activity shifted from Bengaluru to New Delhi after Mr Bhardwaj sent his report to the Centre on the developments inside and outside the state Assembly on the confidence vote and disqualification of 16 MLAs.
The Congress core group, consisting of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party chief Sonia Gandhi and select top leaders, met here Monday night and discussed the Karnataka situation. Well-placed sources said there was no forward movement on the governor’s report.
The Union Cabinet will meet on Tuesday. Though the governor’s report is said to be not on its agenda, it could be discussed, they said. The mood in the Congress is for imposition of President’s Rule rather than forming a government with the help of the JD(S), rebels and Independents.
But the Centre is treading cautiously. The BJP may not get support from the Opposition at the national level on the issue of governor Bhardwaj’s role and the way the confidence vote was sought in the Assembly. But its “constructive” role had helped the Centre pass key bills in Parliament, including the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill.
Non-BJP parties in Karnataka are not in a position to provide a viable alternative and stability in the state. The Karnataka Congress said, “The question of exploring the possibility of forming a government has not come to our mind. If there is such a possibility, our high command will take a decision. Currently, we have not thought of it.” JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy has also said there were no plans to form an alternate government with the Congress.

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