Bangalore: Upping the ante to oust Chief Minister DV Sadananda, nine ministers loyal to former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa reportedly resigned on Friday, festering a fresh round of crisis for the BJP government in the state.
The ministers who resigned from Gowda’s cabinet include Jagadish Shettar, CM Udasi, V Sommanna, Basavaraj Bommai, Murugesh Nirani, Revu Naik Belamagi, M P Renukacharya and Umesh Katti. Another Minister Raju Gowda would quit soon, reports say.
Emerging from Gowda`s official residence, PWD Minister C M Udasi said, "There was a trust deficit between the Ministers and the Chief Minister in the last 3-4 months. We had been pressuring the Chief Minister to convene the BJP legislature party meeting. That also did not happen," he said.
He said many issues raised by the MLAs were not addressed by the Chief Minister."So we have decided to resign. We also brought the issues to the notice of central leadership."
Earlier in the day, the ministers met at the residence of Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar, whom Yeddyurappa has been propping up as successor to his loyalist-turned foe DV Sadananda Gowda, and held parleys for an hour, party sources said.
They later met Yeddyurappa, who has been sulking after being forced to quit last year in the wake of Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicting him and asked by the party to come clean in the corruption cases for his reinstatement.
The rebels` move came a day after the BJP leadership sought to buy more time to resolve the Karnataka crisis and asked Gowda to cancel his proposed visit to Delhi. Gowda had planned to meet the top leaders amid persisting speculation over change of leadership.
Sources said the dissidents were in no mood to accept the high command decision of "wait for some more time".
The central leadership whose efforts to put the house in order have been a failure let it be known that there is no question of change of leadership at least till the Presidential elections are over by the middle of next month.
Meanwhile, BJP general secretary and party in-charge in Karnataka tried to play down the issue saying the crisis would be resolved through talks.
"We are aware of the situation in Karnataka. We are talking to all the important leaders of the sate. We are hopeful of finding a solution to the problems," Pradhan told reporters in New Delhi.
BJP state unit chief K S Eshwarappa admitted that while one group of MLAs has been demanding Gowda`s replacement, the other is against such a move.
A section of the BJP MLAs is strongly backing Gowda and has reportedly warned that replacing him would lead to their resignation, which would inturn bring down the Government.
The present strength of the Gowda ministry is 23, including the eight whose resignations are yet to be accepted, with 11 vacancies against the statutory limit of 34.
Gowda, handpicked by Yeddyurappa himself, faced trouble after the state party strongman went all out to regain the chief ministership only to be told by the party central leadership to come clean in the spate of corruption cases he is facing.
Having lost hopes, Yeddyurappa has been promoting Shettar, also from the majority Lingayat community to which he belongs, as their camp`s chief ministerial choice.