Yeddy’s 13 spell trouble for BJP

Haveri (Karnataka) : In a major jolt to the BJP government in Karnataka, 13 MLAs thumbed their nose and openly backed former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa at a major rally, where he formally launched his Karnataka Janata Party here on Sunday.

Yeddy’s 13 spell trouble for BJP

Buoyed by the backing he got from the MLAs and cheered by a massive crowd, Yeddyurappa went hammer and tongs at the Jagdish Shettar government and challenged the CM to resign and seek a fresh mandate.

“Shettar said action will be taken against legislators if they participated in today’s rally. The government has no majority now. You are in Chief Minister’s chair because of the support of Yeddyurappa. If you have the guts, dissolve the Assembly and seek fresh mandate”.

If the BJP high command keeps up its word and sacks all the 13 MLAs, the Shettar government will fall, ending the saffron party’s tumultuous saga below the Vindhyas. The BJP had warned of action if the legislators participated in the Haveri rally. In the 224-member assembly, BJP has a strength of 118; Congress 71, JDS 26, Independents seven and there are two vacancies. If action is taken against the 13 MLAs, the strength of the BJP will nosedive to 105, as against a half way mark of 112.

In open defiance, the 13 loyalist MLAs of Yeddyurappa — who quit the BJP ten days ago — shared the dais with him, leaving the BJP stunned. The participation of these MLAs, including some stalwarts like Halappa, is seen as a big blow to the BJP Government. At the rally, Yeddyurappa also openly challenged the BJP high command to sack the 13 MLAs. “I am wondering why the BJP leadership is delaying and hesitating to take action against them. Instead of dilly-dallying and taking selective action, I dare the BJP leadership to dissolve the Assembly and go before the people”.

“It is an open secret that the Government is continuing in office with the support of my followers,” he later told reporters. “People of Karnataka will not tolerate the treatment meted out to me by the BJP leadership and selective action taken against my supporters,” Yeddyurappa said.

However, Shettar refused to take the challenge and said he would not resign and asserted that he still commanded majority. He promised action against those who defied the party directive and participated in Yeddyurappa’s rally. “There is no question of tolerating indiscipline,” he asserted.

In real terms, Yeddyurappa has the backing of 21 MLs as they attended a breakfast hosted by MLC Shivaraj Sajjan, a Yeddyurappa loyalist, here. Seven MLCs and four Lok Sabha members too met Yeddyurappa. But the number at the breakfast meeting had disappointed Yeddyurappa, who expected more than 40 MLAs to turn up.

Senior ministers, including Basavaraja Bommai, C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani and Shobha Karandlaje, are known to be close to Yeddyurappa and are ready to switch loyalties.

Yeddyurappa justified the formation of a regional party and said like in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the future belongs to regional outfits. He said he would begin a statewide tour, starting from Bidar in the next four-five days, to build the new party.

The Congress was quick to react to Sunday’s developments. KPCC President G Parameshwara and Opposition Congress leader in the state assembly Siddaramaiah said the BJP government would soon collapse.

l FPJ News Service

Haveri (Karnataka)

In a major jolt to the BJP government in Karnataka, 13 MLAs thumbed their nose and openly backed former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa at a major rally, where he formally launched his Karnataka Janata Party here on Sunday.

Buoyed by the backing he got from the MLAs and cheered by a massive crowd, Yeddyurappa went hammer and tongs at the Jagdish Shettar government and challenged the CM to resign and seek a fresh mandate.

“Shettar said action will be taken against legislators if they participated in today’s rally. The government has no majority now. You are in Chief Minister’s chair because of the support of Yeddyurappa. If you have the guts, dissolve the Assembly and seek fresh mandate”.

If the BJP high command keeps up its word and sacks all the 13 MLAs, the Shettar government will fall, ending the saffron party’s tumultuous saga below the Vindhyas. The BJP had warned of action if the legislators participated in the Haveri rally. In the 224-member assembly, BJP has a strength of 118; Congress 71, JDS 26, Independents seven and there are two vacancies. If action is taken against the 13 MLAs, the strength of the BJP will nosedive to 105, as against a half way mark of 112.

In open defiance, the 13 loyalist MLAs of Yeddyurappa — who quit the BJP ten days ago — shared the dais with him, leaving the BJP stunned. The participation of these MLAs, including some stalwarts like Halappa, is seen as a big blow to the BJP Government. At the rally, Yeddyurappa also openly challenged the BJP high command to sack the 13 MLAs. “I am wondering why the BJP leadership is delaying and hesitating to take action against them. Instead of dilly-dallying and taking selective action, I dare the BJP leadership to dissolve the Assembly and go before the people”.

“It is an open secret that the Government is continuing in office with the support of my followers,” he later told reporters. “People of Karnataka will not tolerate the treatment meted out to me by the BJP leadership and selective action taken against my supporters,” Yeddyurappa said.

However, Shettar refused to take the challenge and said he would not resign and asserted that he still commanded majority. He promised action against those who defied the party directive and participated in Yeddyurappa’s rally. “There is no question of tolerating indiscipline,” he asserted.

In real terms, Yeddyurappa has the backing of 21 MLs as they attended a breakfast hosted by MLC Shivaraj Sajjan, a Yeddyurappa loyalist, here. Seven MLCs and four Lok Sabha members too met Yeddyurappa. But the number at the breakfast meeting had disappointed Yeddyurappa, who expected more than 40 MLAs to turn up.

Senior ministers, including Basavaraja Bommai, C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani and Shobha Karandlaje, are known to be close to Yeddyurappa and are ready to switch loyalties.

Yeddyurappa justified the formation of a regional party and said like in Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, the future belongs to regional outfits. He said he would begin a statewide tour, starting from Bidar in the next four-five days, to build the new party.

The Congress was quick to react to Sunday’s developments. KPCC President G Parameshwara and Opposition Congress leader in the state assembly Siddaramaiah said the BJP government would soon collapse.

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