A governor whose reputation precedes him

Much like it is difficult for all the scams in theUPA-II regime to be mentioned without invoking the “personal integrity” of the prime minister Manmohan Singh, it seems it is difficult to view the sanction of permission for the prosecution of the Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yediyurappa on “grave charges of corruption” without invoking the dubious history of the governor, H.R. Bharadwaj.

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Deccan Herald says the governor, H.R. Bharadwaj, has exceeded constitutional boundaries:

“As a constitutional authority, he has every right to guide the administration, offer counsel and even pull up the government where it goes wrong. Yes, the Yediyurappa government has committed many wrongs in the 32 months that it has been in power, and as the constitutional head of the state, the governor was duty bound to ask questions and seek remedial actions. There are clearly defined constitutional boundaries and well-established conventions for the governor’s conduct.

“But Bhardwaj has adopted a crudely confrontationist approach, which was totally unwarranted. Where he was expected to exercise caution and discretion in his actions, he used his loud mouth to get himself into a tangle. If chief minister Yediyurappa and some of his colleagues have openly accused the governor of acting in a ‘partisan manner’ or like ‘an agent of the Congress party,’ Bhardwaj has nobody to blame but himself.”

The Hindu says the governor’s action is legally correct but politically coloured:

“It is one thing to turn the Raj Bhavan into a retreat for elderly or inconvenient politicians. It is quite another for the government at the Centre to use it as a political stage for undermining State governments run by rival parties. H.R. Bhardwaj has often looked more the part of an opposition leader than a constitutional head, with his politically-loaded barbs against the Yediyurappa government.

“In the latest instance, he likened the ruling BJP making complaints against him to a ‘thief scolding the police’. In the context of his earlier statements against the State government, asking Yediyurappa to take action against two of his Ministers and publicly talking about their alleged profiteering from illegal mining operations, the ‘thief’ remark certainly raised serious doubts about his motives.”

Also read: One question I’m dying to ask H.R. Bharadwaj

When a governor gets it left, right and centre