Bangalore, Jan 21 (Agencies): The bitter political war in Karnataka reached a crescendo on Friday evening when Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj accorded the sanction to Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa following several allegations of his involvement in land scams and corruption cases. 

The sanction came hours after Bharadwaj refused to buckle under the pressure of the state cabinet, which had passed a resolution asking him to drop the prosecution proceedings.

Yeddy will now be prosecuted under Section 19 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

BJP hit back at the Governor calling the decision constitutionally improper and politically motivated. Stung by Bhardwaj's remarks, the ruling party went into a more aggressive mode announcing state-wide anti-Governor protests on Saturday and "Raj Bhavan chalo" on January 25, besides deciding to meet President Pratibha Patil in Delhi on January 24 to seek the Governor's recall.

The sanction of the Governor for prosecuting Yeddyurappa in an appropriate Court of Law for various "grave" allegations of corruption and criminal misconduct came on a day when the two attacked each other.

The Governor has been has been engaged in an open battle with the Chief Minister on charges of corruption against ministers, especially the Reddy brothers, in the BJP government in the state.

A Raj Bhavan communique said the sanction was accorded under Section 19(1) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Both the provisions relate to Governor's powers to grant sanction against public servant.

However,the communique remained silent on the petition filed by Lawyers Forum, which had also sought permission to prosecute Home Minister R Ashoka, alleging involvement in land denotification scam.

The Governor's action comes on the Forum's petition on land allotment by the Chief Minister allegedly in favour of his relatives.

There have been instances when Governors have given sanction for prosecution of a sitting Chief Minister like in the case of A R Antulay, J Jayalalithaa, Mayawati and Lalu Prasad.

In the midst of a war of words between him and the Government, Bhardwaj advanced his decision by a day on the petition.

Karnataka Lok Ayukta Santosh Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, who had himself resigned last year over differences with the state government on corruption issue, said a judge of an appropriate court has to look into the cases against the Chief Minister and then take a decision whether to go ahead with the case.

Yeddyurappa thus became the first ever Chief Minister in Karnataka to face prosecution over allegations of corruption and land scams in the state history.

An unfazed Governor stood his ground brushing aside all accusations hurled at him, including of being an agent of Congress and rejected a state cabinet resolution to "drop"
prosecution proceedings.

Angered over the Governor's latest outbursts, the BJP also went into a combative mode with Yeddyurappa demanding an unconditional apology from Bhardwaj for making certain remarks against his government.

Cong backs Guv’s move

New Delhi (Agencies): Defending the action of Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj over granting sanction to prosecute Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa on corruption charges, Congress said the Governor had done so after "full application of mind".

"These are situations which are well-known, established. The Governor has acted after full application of mind. Only those who have something to hide should be worried. Otherwise,
this is the discretion (of the Governor) and if anybody is aggrieved, they can take appropriate legal action," Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.