Staring at a possible threat to his government in the wake of 13 rebel BJP MLAs announcing their decision to quit the assembly membership, Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar on Friday said he still commanded a majority.
Shettar said governor HR Bhardwaj, whom he met in the afternoon, had not asked him to prove his majority. He did not comment on the threat posed by the rebel MLAs — all loyalists of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa.
“I told the governor there is no threat to my government because I enjoy majority,” Shettar said.
Before meeting Shettar, Bhardwaj told mediapersons he might ask the CM to prove his majority. “I have all the information about the developments. If necessary, I have to interfere.” Bhardwaj said his secretariat was collecting the details on the strength of parties in the assembly (see box).
In the evening, Bhardwaj accepted the resignations of ministers Shobha Karandlaje and CM Udasi — among the 13 rebels — from cabinet berths.
In Delhi, BJP president Rajnath Singh said, “I am confident there is no threat to our government in Karnataka.”
Shettar is scheduled to present the budget for 2013-14 on February 8. According to BJP sources, Yeddyurappa does not want Shettar to score political points with a populist budget barely three months before assembly elections become due.