Bangalore: The Jagadish Shettar government in Karnataka is in trouble. Sources say the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to demand a dissolution of the Assembly. Sources say the decision may be taken in two to three days.
This comes after as many as 21 of the 118 BJP MLAs in the 225-member Assembly came out in support of former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and attended a breakfast meeting on Sunday at his residence. 13 of these MLAs were present on stage when Yeddyurappa formally launched his party, the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).
In spite of this, the BJP may not want Yeddyurappa to take credit for bringing down the government. The former CM has dared Jagadish Shettar to dissolve the House.
Sending a warning to Yeddyurappa's loyalists, Shettar had on Saturday sacked his trusted lieutenant BJ Puttaswamy from the ministry while the party had suspended Tumkur MP GS Basavaraju. Seeking to put up a brave face, Shettar ruled out his resignation and asserted that he still commanded majority. He, however, said action will be taken against those who defied the party directive and participated in Yeddyurappa's rally. "There is no question of tolerating indiscipline."
In the 224-member assembly, BJP has a strength of 118, Congress 71, JDS 26, Independents seven and two vacancies. Yeddyurappa slammed the BJP for the action against Puttaswamy and Basavaraju, flaying it as "selective", as the crisis in BJP appears headed for a flash-point. He said it's "very well-known" about Ministers, MLAs and MPs who are supporting him. "I am wondering why the BJP leadership is delaying and hesitating to take action against them. Instead of dilly-dallying and taking selective action, I dare the BJP leadership to dissolve the Assembly and go before the people."
"It's known truth that the Government is continuing in office with the support of my followers...", he told reporters, adding, he would like to remind the BJP leadership that it was because of his leadership that the party could form its first-ever government in the south. "People of Karnataka will not tolerate the treatment meted out to me by the BJP leadership and selective action taken against my supporters," Yeddyurappa said.
The developments triggered calls for resignation of the BJP government by the opposition Congress on the ground that it has been reduced to a minority. KPCC President G Parameshwara and Opposition Congress leader in the state assembly Siddarmaiah said the BJP government would soon collapse.
(With additional information from PTI)