MUMBAI: The Shiv Sena said today the BJP's attempt to save the B S Yeddyurappa government in Karnataka was not the way to make the country "Congress-free".
Stressing the need to save democracy in the country, the BJP's bickering ally said no government can use the Constitution to enforce its decisions on people.
In an editorial in its mouthpiece 'Saamana', the Sena also alleged that "the governor" and the president sometimes act like agents of the government.
"They are the constitutional heads of a state and the country, but they themselves act contrary to constitutional norms," it read.
The Sena's remarks came against the backdrop of Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala's earlier decision to invite Yeddyurappa to form the government and prove majority in the Assembly in 15 days.
The party alleged that the governors of Goa and Manipur indulged in "political corruption" and the Raj Bhavans there had become offices of the ruling party.
"Some people are suddenly talking about respecting democracy. Why was such respect not shown in Goa and Manipur?" it asked.
The marathon three-day political slugfest in Karnataka culminated in Yeddyurappa resigning as chief minister on Saturday after he failed to muster the support of seven additional MLAs to ensure he remained in office.
The Congress had earlier released an audio tape where Yeddyurappa was purportedly heard trying to lure an MLA with the promise of a ministerial berth if he backed the BJP government during the trust vote.
There were allegations that Congress MLA Anand Singh was "abducted" by the BJP, but he turned up at the Vidhana Soudha minutes before Yeddyurappa began his speech.
"We are deeply saddened over the BJP government failing to come to power in Karnataka, but the attempt to save it is not the path to make India 'Congress-free'," the Sena editorial read.
"This would further lead to weakening of democracy, individual freedom and freedom of the press in the country. In parliamentary democracy, we need a free Parliament as well as free media," it opined.
The party said Union minister Prakash Javdekar's statement that Yeddyurappa respected democratic procedures was a "courageous one".
"If leaving red-faced after ensuring you get an invite to form the government despite not having the numbers is respect for democracy, then the act of tendering resignation before the floor test should be called martyrdom," the editorial read.
Had the Supreme Court not intervened and reduced the time for the floor test from 15 days to just about 24 hours, the BJP would have managed to boost its tally from 104 to 125, the Sena claimed.
The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in the Karnataka polls, winning 104 seats, but fell short of a simple majority.
The Congress, which finished second with 78 seats, moved swiftly and stitched an alliance with the 37-member JD(S).
They staked claim to form government but were not invited by the governor.
The Sena also took a dig at Union minister and RPI (A) chief Ramdas Athawale, saying he had earlier stated that he would leave the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre if the BJP flouted constitutional norms.
"So what happened in the Karnataka Assembly was not anti-constitutional?" the Sena wondered.
The Republican Party of India (Athawale) is a constituent of the NDA in which Athawale is the Union Minister of State for Social Justice.
"The Constitution should encompass people's general expectations and their welfare. People are custodians of the Constitution. Hence, the Constitution should not dominate people's lives. Thus, no government can use the Constitution to enforce its own decisions on people," the Marathi daily said.
It said there was a need to save democracy from people like Sriramulu.
"The first scene of shaming democracy is over so far. We do not know what is going to happen tomorrow," the publication said.