The ruling BJP government in Karnataka suffered a major setback as seven ministers and 14 party legislators openly backed B S Yeddyurappa’s new political outfit – Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). The former chief minister on Sunday formally launched KJP at a massive public rally here, which was attended by over 100,000 people from across the state.
Ministers in Jagadish Shettar cabinet – C M Udasi, public works, Shobha Karandlaje, energy, Basavaraj Bommai, water resources, Murugesh Nirani, industries, M P Renukacharya, excise, and Revu Naik , Belamagi, animal husbandry and Sunil Valyapure, infrastructure attended a breakfast hosted as show of strength by Yeddyurappa loyalist Shivaraj Sajjanar hours ahead of the public meeting here to formally launch the Karantaka Janata Party (KJP). Yeddyurappa was present at the breakfast.
The breakfast meeting was also attended by three Paliament members – B Y Raghavendra, G S Basavaraj and Shivakumar Udasi apart from 10 chairmen of boards and corporations.
Asked about reports that Karandlaje, Bommai and Nirani had offered to quit the ministry, Yeddyurappa told reporters after the breakfast meeting that he had asked all ministers supporting him not to do so.
He asserted that there was no threat to the ministry headed by Jagadish Shettar if the BJP accepted that it is running a coalition government with his (Yeddyurappa’s) supporters in Karnataka.
The BJP had warned that even attending breakfast meeting or tea parties hosted by Yeddyurappa loyalists at Haveri on Sunday would attract disciplinary action.
The move to attend the breakfast by these ministers and legislators came a day after infarstructure minister Sunil Valyapure quit the Shettar cabinet hours after BJP sacked cooperation minister B J Puttaswamy and suspended Lok Sabha member G S Basavaraj from the party for backing the party’s first chief minister in Karnataka.
However, Shettar told reporters in Bangalore that his government had majority. He also said he had not received the resignation of Valyapure.
The BJP has 118 members, including speaker K G Bopaiah in the 225-member assembly and 44 in the 75-member legislative council.