Bangalore: Lingayat strongman and former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday dared Jagadish Shettar drop his MP son BY Raghavendra after the saffron party sacked one of his loyalist and Cooperative Minister BJ Puttaswamy from the ministry and suspended Tumkur MP GS Basavaraj.
Yeddyurappa, who is organising a mammoth rally in Lingayat dominated Haveri on Sunday to formally launch his party Karnataka Janata Party to prove his popularity hasn't waned, dared the BJP to hold fresh elections in Karnataka. "They have suspended the Tumkur MP because he's my supporter. I am daring Jagadish Shettar to suspend my son who is also an MP. If they are suspending, then they should throw out everyone. They have no morality. Let Jagadish Shettar dissolve this Assembly."
The former BJP leader said that the people of Karnataka want fresh elections. "I will not ask my supporters to do anything and whoever wants can come and attend my rally, if BJP has the courage let them suspend everyone," said Yeddyurappa.
The BJP is pulling out all the stops to prevent its MLAs and workers from defecting to Yeddyurappa's newly formed party. Yeddyurappa has claimed the support of 60 BJP MLAs, including several ministers.
Yeddyurappa on Saturday described as "vindictive" the party leadership's sacking Puttaswamy and suspension of the Tumkur MP. He dared BJP to dissolve the state assembly and face the people's mandate "if they have faith in democratic values".
Yeddyurappa said that the BJP was under the impression that such action against his loyalists could dissuade others from supporting him and added "the number of those attending tomorrow's Karnataka Janata party rally will increase by at least 50,000". Puttaswamy said he had no regrets in being dismissed from the ministry but did not approve the method opted by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. "Had he asked me, I would have resigned voluntarily. I will continue to be a supporter of Yeddyurappa forever", he said. Basavaraj too welcomed the party action.
With Additional Inputs from PTI