Bangalore: Triggering a fresh bout of crisis in Karnataka BJP, former chief minister and Lingayat strongman BS Yeddyurappa on Saturday night resigned from the primary membership of the party.
Yeddyurappa has sent his resignation letter to BJP president Nitin Gadkari, sources said. However, the BJP central leadership is yet to confirm the news of Yeddyurappa’s resignation.
Earlier in the day nine ministers, those loyal to former Yeddyurappa, offered to quit Karnataka cabinet.
The ministers -- Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti, CM Udasi, V Somanna, MP Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani -- submitted their resignation letters to Yeddyurappa this evening, sources in Yeddyurappa camp said.
Karnataka Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, however, said he was unaware of resignation by some ministers in the state.
"I have not received any resignation letter so far. There is no crisis in BJP", Gowda told reporters.
The Yeddyurappa loyalists, who have been pressing their demand after Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda complained to BJP president Nitin Gadkari about some ministers indulged in the "anti-party" activities, have decided to come out of the ministry, sources added.
"Our leader is free to take any decision on our resignation. Since we have been accused of indulging in anti-party activities, though we have not done anything, we chose to quit", one of the ministers said.
On March 24, Gowda and state BJP president KS Eswarappa sent a letter seeking action against some ministers, loyal to Yeddyurappa accusing them of indulging in anti-party activities.
Yeddyurappa has been holding consultations with his loyalists a day after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe against him in connection with illegal mining.
Efforts by RSS leader Satish to mollify Yeddyurappa and persuade him not to take any hasty step has failed to yield results.
About 38 MLAs, including some ministers, have already shot off a letter to Gowda demanding convening of an emergent legislature party meeting to discuss party affairs in the state and his complaint to the party central leadership, which the Chief Minister has rejected.
Gowda, however, has maintained there was no need for calling a legisalture party meeting to discuss the content of a correspondence between him and Gadkari.
Yeddyurappa, 70, had intensified his campaign to regain chief ministership since February after the Karnataka High Court had quashed an illegal mining case filed against him and also the sanction accorded by Governor HR Bhardwaj to prosecute him.
With the party central leadership cold-shouldering his efforts to stage a comeback and asking him to come clean in the corruption cases against him, Yeddyurappa has turned the focus on removal of Sadandana Gowda.
With PTI inputs