Prez rule imposed in K'taka for the second time

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New Delhi, Nov 20: President"s rule has been imposed in Karnataka for the second time in less than two months, and the State Assembly has been kept under suspended animation.

However, it has been decided to dissolve the State Assembly when government approaches Parliament.

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Hours after the Union Cabinet decided to impose President"s rule in the State, and also place the State Assembly under suspended animation, President Pratibha Patil signed the proclamation bringing the State under Central rule.

Earlier this morning, the Union Cabinet held a meeting at the official residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to discuss the ongoing political situation in the State after B S Yeddyurappa resigned as the Chief Minister on Monday.

The government will seek the approval of Parliament for imposition of Central rule in Karnataka and dissolution of the State Assembly at the "earliest opportunity," Union Information and Broadcasting Minister P R Dasmunsi said after the Cabinet meeting.

"We are coming back to Parliament both for approval of President's rule and dissolution of the House," he said.

The Cabinet reportedly accepted Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur's suggestions for President"s rule, as there was no possibility of formation of any alternative government.

The Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) met late last night where Manmohan Singh considered Thakur"s report, but took no decision.

The Governor had sent his report to the Cabinet soon after Yeddyurappa resigned following J D (S), coalition partner of the BJP in the State, decided to oppose the confidence motion in the State Assembly, thereby turning the government into a minority.

Yeddyurappa yesterday said he was 'cheated' by the BJP leadership, not once but twice.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Rajnath Singh termed the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) decision as a 'betrayal', and said that it was former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy who decided to give them an 'unconditional' support for forming the next government in the State after President's rule was invoked in the State.

A shocked BJP in Delhi has given indication that the party is ready to face mid-term polls in the State, and would try to highlight the twice betrayal by the JD (S).

BJP senior leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said: "We want that the Assembly is dissolved immediately. Deve Gowda (chief of Janata Dal Secular) and his party have shown to the world a new height of lack of political confidence. Fresh elections should take place in Karnataka immediately, and I am sure BJP will win majority."

This is the second time since October that the JD (S) has pulled the rug under the feat of the BJP.

A month ago, on October 7, the BJP had to withdraw its support from the coalition after the JD (S) failed to live up to its promise to hand over the power to Yeddyurappa as per the agreement reached between the two-parties twenty months ago.

With no party ready to form the government in the State, Central rule was imposed on October 9 on Thakur's recommendation.

However, the BJP-JD (S) short lived 'divorce' came to an end within a fortnight, after JD (S) leader H D Kumaraswamy, gave a letter to the Governor confirming his party's 'unconditional' support to the BJP.

This led the BJP, close on leading a South Indian State for the first time, to demand revoking of the President's rule in the State. Though the Governor was not convinced about the stability of the next BJP-JD (S) coalition, the Centre's rule was revoked paving the way for Yeddyurappa to form the next government in the State.

In the present State Assembly, the BJP has the highest number of legislators with 79 MLAs, followed by the Congress with 65 MLAs, which excludes the eight other members led by former Deputy Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who broke away from the JD (S) to join the Congress.

Kumaraswamy led JD (S) has officially 57 members in the legislature, but its strength is down to 48 after Siddaramaiah's defection.

The smaller parties and independents only add to 17 in the 224-member Assembly.

After JD (S) supremo and former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda announced opposing the government in the floor test by alleging that many things were going on Yeddyurappa's mind, it became clear that the BJP was again taken for a ride by the JD (S).

The BJP did not heed to the JD (S) demand of signing the 12-point MoU that would have led to the former parting away from the crucial portfolios in the next cabinet.

ANI>

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