Opposition accuses BJP of murdering democracy, Congress demands Karnataka Governor recall

Opposition parties today accused the BJP of "murder of democracy" and "trampling" the Constitution, with the Congress demanding that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala be recalled.

Published: 17th May 2018 09:05 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th May 2018 12:18 AM   |  A+A-

Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala greets newly sworn-in Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa at a ceremony in Bengaluru on Thursday. | PTI

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Opposition parties today accused the BJP of "murder of democracy" and "trampling" the Constitution, with the Congress demanding that Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala be recalled as it dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah to prove BJP's majority in the state tomorrow itself.

Parties like TMC, CPI-M and BSP, besides RJD stood in unison to target the BJP and asserted that if the single largest party was to form the government, then BJP governments in states like Bihar, Goa, Manipur and Meghayala should resign.

The Congress also decided to observe tomorrow as 'Save Democracy Day' saying party workers across the country will hold protests and dharnas at all district headquarters against Vala's "illegal" decision to allow BS Yeddyurappa to take over as chief minister, "despite being in a minority".

Stepping up attack on the BJP, Congress communications in-charge Randeep Surjewala dubbed Yeddyurappa as a "one-day chief minister" saying he lacked majority and would be ousted soon after the Supreme Court's hearing and decision on Friday.

Citing the Supreme Court judgment of March 2017, which was in favour of the BJP on Goa government formation, in support of its claim in Karnataka, the Congress said if that principle is to be adopted, then governments in Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya and Bihar should resign as BJP was not the single largest party in these states.

He said the Congress would meet Governors of Goa, Meghalaya and Manipur and parade its MLAs as it is the single-largest party in these states.

The RJD will also meet Bihar governor and stake claim to form the government as it was the single-largest party.

The Congress, which in alliance with the JD(S) had made a bid to form the government in the state, referred to a 2011 tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the recall of the then Karnataka governor and said, "We agree".

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"Governor of Karnataka is bent upon destroying India's federal structure, urged PM to request President to recall him," Modi, who was then the Gujarat chief minister, had tweeted on May 19 2011, against the then governor, H R Bhardwaj, alleging that he was "harassing" the BJP-led state government and "acting in a partisan manner".

Against the backdrop of Karnataka developments, Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed the situation in the country was similar to that in Pakistan under "dictatorship", alleging that the judiciary and the press was being suppressed here.

"Amit Shah dares to give us sermons on democracy. We challenge Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah that if you have the courage of conviction, we dare you to prove your majority on the floor of the House tomorrow itself and the truth will come and democracy will win as you will be decisively decimated and defeated," Surjewala told reporters.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also targeted the BJP, saying she didn't know why the Karnataka governor had not invited JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy to form the government.

She "endorsed" the views of BSP supremo Mayawati who termed the entire episode as a conspiracy to destroy the Constitution.

"I endorse the views of Mayawatiji. We must give full respect to the maker of our Constitution, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar," Banerjee said on Twitter.

"It is a conspiracy to destroy the constitution made by Baba Saheb Ambedkar.

Since they (BJP) came to power they have been misusing government machinery, thereby attacking democracy," Mayawati earlier said here, while referring to Yeddyurappa taking oath as the Karnataka chief minister.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the opposition parties are determined to organise a major movement across the country in defence of democracy, if parliamentary democratic norms are not followed in Karnataka, Congress general secretary Ashok Gehlot said the anti-defection law is still applicable in the country and in no way the BJP can prove their majority without poaching.

He said the sanctity of the Raj Bhawan has been "lowered" at BJP's behest and said, "This taking over of Yeddyurappa is a backdoor entry, as neither the prime minister nor Amit Shah have attended his swearing-in today.

" The Congress and JD-S last night challenged the swearing-in of Yeddyurappa as Karnataka chief minister in the Supreme Court which gave a midnight hearing to their petition but did not give any relief.

"Yeddyurappa will turn out one-day Chief Minister. His fate as CM is dependent on the court hearing," Surjewala said.

"How come the Governor invited them to form government when the BJP does not have numbers to do so, the Governor has murdered democracy," Surjewala said, alleging that the governor was working at the behest of the BJP's central leadership.

The BJP has emerged as the single largest party winning 104 seats, but is short of a simple majority while the Congress and JD(S) have won 78 and 37 seats respectively and claimed their post-poll alliance had the numbers to form the government.

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