Bangalore: The BJP Government in Karnataka plunged into crisis on Wednesday after it was reduced to a minority with 19 MLAs withdrawing support, prompting Governor H R Bhardwaj to ask Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa to prove his majority in the Assembly before October 12 by 5 pm.
However, the Chief Minister met the Governor on Wednesday evening and has told him that he will prove majority of his government in the state Assembly at 10 am on October 11
The first-ever saffron Government in the South was rocked by the action of 19 MLAs -- 14 from BJP and five Independents -- who revolted against Yeddyurappa's leadership dissatisfied with the recent cabinet expansion and gave a letter to the Governor withdrawing support to him. The MLAs included seven ministers of whom four were Independents who were sacked earlier in the day.
Earlier, in a firefighting move, Yeddyurappa sacked four ministers, all independents, to accommodate some of the rebel MLAs. The CM is also likely to drop controversial minister Katta Subramanya Naidu whose son is in jail in a land scam.
Yeddyurappa said: "Sacking of four ministers was inevitable. The rebel BJP MLAs who have sent a letter of withdrawl of support to the Governor should withdraw that letter. Otherwise they will lose their membership under the anti-defenction act."
"I am meeting the Governor this evening. The test of strength should be held on the floor of the House," he added.
Meanwhile the Health Minister has expressed confidence that the rebel MLAs will stay with the BJP.
"We are going to meet them and discuss their issues. I can assure them they won't be betrayed. They should stay with the party," said the minister.
Prakash Javadekar, spokesperson BJP, commenting on the Karnataka crisis said, "We should wait for the 12th of October and majority will be proved."
In the 224-member Assembly, BJP and Independents together had a strength of 123 and with Wednesday's developments it has been reduced to 104 reducing the ruling party to a minority. BJP requires the support of 113 members to prove its majority. BJP earlier had 117 MLAs including the Speaker, followed by Congress 73, JDS 28 and independents six.
Minister for Fisheries Anand Asnotikar and Minister for Animal Husbandry P M Narendra Swamy, who was among those sacked, deputed by the rebels, called on Bhardwaj and submitted the list of the MLAs who withdrew support.
Apart from the four axed ministers, other ministers who joined the rebels are, M P Renukacharya, now leading the dissident group, Asnotikar and Balachandra Jarkiholi.
Janardhana Reddy airdashes to Chennai
Karnataka Tourism Minister and mining magnate G Janardhana Reddy arrived in Chennai on Wednesday to hold talks with the dissidents who were camping in the city. Reddy arrived in Chennai by a special flight and was holding talks with the rebel MLAs in the VIP lounge, airport sources said.
Shortly after Reddy's arrival, Tamil Nadu BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan also went to the airport. Earlier, the rebel MLAs, who were said to be staying in a star hotel, arrived at the airport by a van.
Deve Gowda family's misdeeds will be exposed: Yeddyurappa
Hitting back at the JDS for its barrage of charges against him on land denotification issue, Yeddyurappa alleged that party supremo H D Deve Gowda's family owned about 5,000 acres of land in benami names in and round the city and vowed to retrieve them for development purpose.
"Me and my ministerial colleagues will launch a campaign from tomorrow to expose the misdeeds of Gowda and his family members. They own 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land in and around Bangalore in benami names. I will attach their lands and use it for development," he told reporters here.
Yeddyurappa, facing a sharp attack from former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy for the past one week over alleged illegal denotification of lands acquired by the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), said, "Gowda and his family are a curse on this state. I will bring before people the irregularities committed by them while they were in power."
He released some documents in support of his charge that family members of Gowda had purchased land near the city. Accusing JDS of attempting to topple his government, he said that the party leaders were engaged in a 'malicious campaign' as they were unable to 'digest' his achievements.
"They (JDS) cannot come to power on their own. They are trying to gain power through backdoor. They are under an illusion that they would return to power. People will teach them a lesson," Yeddyurappa said.
He also claimed that JDS offered money to the tune of Rs 20 to Rs 30 crore to each of the MLAs, to switch loyalty and asked "where did they get this money from?" Taking on the principal opposition Congress, he accused it of being "anti-development" and appealed to it not to forge another 'unholy' alliance with JDS, for which the party suffered earlier and he too bore the burnt.
(With inputs from PTI)