Bangalore: Beleaguered Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Thursday sacked two cabinet ministers belonging to his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for rebelling against him and withdrawing support to his 29-month-old government.
"The chief minister has recommended to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj to drop state fisheries minister Anand Asnotikar and Municipalities & Local Bodies Minister Balachandra Jarkhiholi from the ministry," an official in the Chief Minister`s Office said.
The two ministers were among the 19 rebel legislators, including 14 of the ruling party, who submitted a joint letter to the governor Wednesday, withdrawing support to the state government and forcing the governor to direct Yeddyurappa to prove majority in the state assembly by 5 p.m. Oct 12.
An unfazed Yeddyurappa, however, requested the governor to convene the assembly October 11 at 10 a.m. to seek the trust vote.
The chief minister Wednesday dropped all the four Independent ministers within minutes after they joined the dissident lawmakers and reduced the government to a minority.
The four Independent ministers were agriculture marketing & small scale industries minister Shivaraj S. Tangadagi, textile & sericulture minister Venkataramanappa, social welfare minister P.M Narendra Swamy and youth services & prisons minister D. Sudhakar.
State excise minister M.P. Renukacharya is the third rebel BJP minister who revolted against the state leadership and reported to have resigned late Wednesday.
"We have not received Renukacharya`s resignation so far. We cannot confirm as he is still out of Bangalore," the official said.
By late Wednesday, two BJP dissident legislators -- B.P. Harish and D.G. Patil -- returned to the Yeddyurappa fold, expressing confidence in his leadership.
In a related development, the party`s state unit president K. Eshwarappa expressed confidence that Yeddyurappa would prove majority on the floor of the house Oct 11.
"We are confident that the rebels will come back to the fold and stand by Yeddyurappa in this hour of crisis. There are indications that four-five dissident legislators are ready to toe the party line," Eshwarappa told reporters here.
The revolt has, however, reduced the strength of the Yeddyurappa government to 98 in the 225-member assembly, including one nominated member.
The opposition Congress has 73 legislators and the Janata Dal-Secular 28. The remaining six are Independents.