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Karnataka crisis: Two BJP ministers resign; 13 MLAs ready to quit

Two ministers, CM Udasi and Shobha Karandlaje, on Wednesday quit Karnataka Cabinet.

Bangalore: The BJP government in Karnataka on Wednesday plunged into a fresh crisis with two ministers resigning and 11 more MLAs, all loyal to former party strongman B S Yeddyurappa, deciding to quit their assembly membership.

Hours after Public Works Minister C M Udasi and Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje gave their resignations to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, the two along with 11 MLAs went to the Assembly Speaker`s office to submit their resignation.

As neither Speaker K G Bopaiah, who was not in station, nor the Assembly Legislature Secretary Omprakash were present when the MLAs arrived and waited for an hour, an enraged Yeddyurappa rushed there, insisting that the Shettar government had been reduced to a minority.

In a high drama, the agitated MLAs insisted that some official of assembly secretariat either receive their resignation letters or give an acknowledgement that they are not empowered to receive them.

Assembly Joint Secretary Jayatheertha Galali told the MLAs "as Joint Secretary I can`t accept it. Please come and submit resignations when Speaker comes to office".

Yeddyurappa, who recently floated the Karnataka Janata Party, said: "Shettar government has been reduced to a minority. He has no moral right to continue in office. He should call off his tour, return to the city and resign."

Yeddyurappa also attacked Bopaiah, who, he said, had been alerted yesterday about the resignation of MLAs, but has left on a tour.

"It is a shameless government.. Shettar should meet the Governor and tender resignation of his government", he said. "We will tell the Governor that this government cannot continue in office as it has been reduced to a minority".

Shettar, who left on an official tour in parts of North Karnataka, confirmed that the two ministers have resigned.

Udasi said they have been hurt by the attitude of Shettar
towards MLAs and Ministers supporting Yeddyurappa, adding, the time has come to build KJP.

A cloud of uncertainty has been hanging over the Shettar ministry ever since Yeddyurappa quit the party to float his KJP in December last. The former BJP strongman has repeatedly put the government on notice about their stability, claiming support of 20-30 BJP MLAs.

Yeddyurappa`s party had set two deadlines earlier to unseat the government but they turned out to be damp squibs.

Brushing aside the threats to his government, Shettar has said he would present the state budget on February 8, the last ahead of assembly polls due in May.

The MLAs who have offered to quit are C M Udasi, Nehru Olekar, Thippeswamy, B P Harish, H Halappa, Suresh Gowda Patil, Shobha Karandlaje, S I Chikkangoudar, Suresh, G Shivanna, Chandrappa, V S Patil and Basavaraj Patil Attur.