The ruling BJP in Karnataka on Monday sought to turn the tables on former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa (BSY) by asking for the disqualification of 12 MLAs loyal to him for "anti-party activities" even as CM Jagadish Shettar sounded confident of riding out the crisis.
A petition on this was signed by BJP MLAs Beluru Gopalakrishna and MV Nagaraju, and submitted to the office of the assembly speaker.
Gopalakrishna said: "I have submitted proof including the statements of the BSY loyal MLAs, the CDs and their TV interviews, and we have listed the names of those who participated in the launch of his new party (Karnataka Janata Party)."
CM Udasi, the leader of the rebel MLAs and former minister, said he had called the speaker and would meet him on Tuesday. "We went to his chamber on January 23 but could not submit our resignations because he was not there and his officers did not accept the letters," he said.
Shettar got the backing of the party central leadership on his visit to New Delhi to congratulate new BJP president Rajnath Singh.
The chief minister said there was no threat to his government and he would present the budget on February 8, which the Karnataka Janata Party is keen to prevent.
However, Yeddyurappa said: "I am not for toppling the government but the MLAs have been neglected by the chief minister and thus they are submitting resignations on moral grounds." He indicated he was not averse to the presentation of the budget, either.
Shettar meets Rajnath Singh
Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar flew down to Delhi to congratulate BJP president Rajnath Singh and brief him on the state's political developments.
Later, Singh expressed confidence in the leadership of Shettar and said the BJP government would complete its term. The state plunged into a political crisis when 13 MLAs loyal to former CM BS Yeddyurappa offered to resign. They couldn't immediately do so, as the speaker was out of town. Meanwhile, Karnataka governor HR Bharadwaj gave the government some reprieve when he said it enjoyed a majority for now. BJP leaders believe that the Congress would be unwilling to topple the government and risk making it a martyr towards the end of its tenure.
(With inputs from PTI)