Crisis in Karnataka BJP worsens, seven ministers ready to quit


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Former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa addresses a press conference in Bangalore on Friday.

BANGALORE: In escalation of factional feud in ruling BJP in Karnataka, seven ministers and six MLAs loyal to state BJP strongman B S Yeddyurappa tonight handed over their resignations to him, pressing for leadership change in the state and triggering a fresh bout of crisis in the state unit of the party.

The Yeddyurappa loyalists, who have been pressing their demand after chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda complained to BJP president Nitin Gadkari about the "anti-party" activities indulged in by some ministers, have decided to come out of the ministry, sources in Yeddyurappa camp said.

Ministers Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, Umesh Katti, C M Udasi, V Somanna, M P Renukacharya and Murugesh Nirani submitted their resignation letters to Yeddyurappa this evening, they said.

"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.
The sources also said at least six MLAs have also handed over their resignation from the assembly to Yeddyurappa.

The letters were handed over to Yeddyurappa at a meeting held at his residence, they said.

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 after both the leaders met briefly today.

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.

On March 24, Gowda and state BJP president K S Eswarappa sent a letter seeking action against some ministers, loyal to Yeddyurappa accusing them of indulging in anti-party activities.

Gowda has maintained there was no need for calling a legisalture party meeting to discuss the content of a correspondence between him and Gadkari.

70-year-old Yeddyurappa 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 H R 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.


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