Bangalore: The crisis in Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party Thursday headed for a flashpoint as supporters of former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa stepped up pressure for ouster of Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
As many as 10 of the 19 BJP members of the Lok Sabha from Karnataka and another 19 state legislators Thursday joined the demand for urgent meeting of the party’s legislature wing to discuss Gowda’s complaint to party leaders about Yeddyurappa’s supporters.
With the 19 legislators sending off a letter to Gowda for the legislature party meeting, their number has gone up to 38, as 19 had Wednesday demanded such a meeting.
The demand follows publication of a March 26 letter of Gowda and state BJP president K.S. Eshwarappa to BJP president Nitin Gadkari for action against ministers and legislators supporting Yeddyurappa.
However, Gowda rejected the demand, saying the issues raised by him and Eshwarappa “are to be considered by the party leaders and not the legislature party”.
Gowda and Eshwarappa have sought permission to drop from the cabinet the ministers supporting Yeddyurappa, who has been angling for re-instatement ever since he was forced to quit in July last year over mining bribery charges.
These ministers include Power Minister Shoba Karandlaje, the lone woman member in the Gowda cabinet, and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai.
Karandlaje and Bommai told reporters that they were ready to quit the ministry.
Several legislators and ministers supporting Yeddyurappa met him at his residence in Bangalore to decide their strategy to force a meeting of the legislature wing of the party where they plan to prove that Gowda has no majority.
Yeddyurappa claims he has the support of about 70 of the party’s 120 legislators in the 225-member assembly.