Bangalore: Trouble does not seem to be ending for the BJP government in Karnataka as Rural Development Minister Shobha Karandlaje and Public Works Minister Udaisi sent their resignations to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to join BS Yeddyurappa's new party - Karnataka Janata Party. Sources say 14 MLAs are likely to send their resignations to the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Thirteen loyalist MLAs of Yeddyurappa, who quit the BJP, shared the dais with him in an open defiance, putting the ruling BJP in a quandary as it had warned of action if the legislators participated in the rally or associated with its former state strongman.
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".
Yeddyurappa strongly justified the formation of a regional party, saying he saw a bright future for it and noting such parties' role in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. He said he would begin a state-wide tour, starting from Bidar in the next four-five days, to build the new party. Three MLCs - Mumtaz Ali Khan, Sajjan and MD Lakshminarayana (who is KJP General Secretary) - also attended the rally.
Yeddyurappa's new political chapter after a 40-year-long association with the BJP climaxes a 16-month power struggle within the party and running feud with the central leadership after he was asked to quit as chief minister in July last year over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicting him.
The 70-year-old Lingayat leader's attempts to regain chief ministership was cold-shouldered by the party top brass who asked him to come clean on corruption cases. His bid for state party president had also failed and the party sidelining him proved to be the last straw.
(With additional information from PTI)