Amid the looming threat of more resignations by ruling BJP ministers and legislators loyal to B S Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday said his government is stable and that he did not expect further resignations.
“I am in touch with all BJP legislators and they are not going to tender resignations from assembly membership,” he told reporters here, even as KJP leader Yeddyurappa, whose political manoeuvring set off a crisis for the BJP government dared Shettar to present his budget “if he has majority”.
Speaking to reporters at Indi in Bijapur district, Yeddyurappa said, “Wait for resignations of some more, ministers and MLAs. I am not pressurising anyone to quit.” However, Shettar, whose government now survives on a wafer thin majority in the wake of 12 MLAs resigning yesterday alleged that the legislators had acted under pressure.
“The government is stable and I will present the budget,” (on February 8), Shettar said. He rejected the charge that Speaker K G Bopaiah had indulged in politics by delaying accepting MLAs resignations. Deputy Chief Minister and State unit BJP President K S Eswarappa said government is ready to face a no-confidence motion, if Congress moved it. Eswarappa held talks with top leaders, including Shettar, Anantkumar and RSS leader Santosh on the crisis and ways to overcome it ahead of the budget session starting February 4. Yesterday, 13 MLAs had met the Speaker in his office at the State secretariat and tendered their resignations from the Assembly membership in person, several hours after which they were accepted.
The resignation of Vittala Katakadonda was not accepted for ‘technical reasons’. With the acceptance of resignation of 12 MLAs, BJP has a strength of 105, Congress 71, JD(S) 26, independents seven (one of whom is supporting the government and is in the ministry) and the Speaker. Meanwhile, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara alleged there was a ‘secret understanding’ between BJP and KJP to prevent the fall of the government. Speaking to reporters near Mangalore, he said Congress leaders would meet Governor H R Bhardwaj soon and discuss the political situation.
Opposition Leader in Assembly Siddaramaiah said Congress would not push for a no-confidence motion as the strength of Congress and JD(S) together was 97. He alleged that Bopaiah has brought disrepute to the Speaker’s post by acting at the “behest” of the Chief Minister and his government.