New Delhi: Ahead of the launch of BS Yeddyurappa's party, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Saturday cracked the whip sacking Cooperative Minister BJ Puttaswamy, a loyalist of the former Chief Minister, from the cabinet. The state BJP also suspended Yeddyurappa's staunch supporter and Tumkur MP GS Basavaraj from the party and issued show cause notices to both Puttaswamy and Basavaraj.
"As a disciplinary measure, Puttaswamy has been dropped from the cabinet. He participated in so many meetings of the new party and campaigned for the new party. So, it is indiscipline in the party's view. I have already sent the letter to the Governor to drop him from the cabinet," Shettar told reporters in Delhi.
In Belgaum, Puttaswamy said the decision to remove him from the cabinet was "unethical and undemocratic". "It is unethical and undemocratic. If he (Shettar) would have asked me to resign, I would have done so willingly. I have done good work as a minister by bringing reforms in the cooperative department," Puttaswamy said.
Party state unit President and Deputy Chief Minister Easwarappa announced the decision to suspend Basavaraj from the party. "In Karnataka, we are giving importance to discipline. One Lok Sabha member from Tumkur, Basavaraj... he is violating the party discipline. We all the core leaders from Karnataka sat with the national leaders and we have taken the decision to suspend Basavaraj," Easwarappa said.
The decision came a day after about 23 legislators and 7 ministers attended the breakfast meet hosted by Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP recently, in solidarity with him. Ministers C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, MP Renukacharya, V Somanna, BJ Puttaswamy, Shobha Karandlaje and Umesh Katti and about two dozen legislators were present at the Belgaum meeting.
Yeddyurappa, who parted ways with the BJP after a 40-year association, is all set to launch his Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) from Haveri town in north Karnataka tomorrow and hopes to become the Chief Minister again after the next Assembly polls.