Belur Gopalkrishana, an MLA who has joined the ranks of rebels, said the party central leadership should apply the same yardstick it applied against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, whom it forced to resign.
"When Yeddyurappa faced cases, he was asked to resign. Now there are some ministers who are facing cases. The same formula should apply to them," Gopalakrishna said after a meeting of rebels held at the residence of former minister and mining baron G Karunakara Reddy.
His comments came against the backdrop of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar taking exception to Bhardwaj's remarks that there are "tainted ministers" in his cabinet, saying no one can be held guilty until proved otherwise.
"No one can be held guilty unless proved as such," he said at Hubli.
Reddy told reporters that some MLAs have left for their constituencies and will return next week. "We will meet on July 17 to decide future plans," he said.
Sources said the rebels were planning to write to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar demanding dropping of 'tainted ministers'.
Bhardwaj had said on July 13 that some ministers with "tainted record" had been inducted into the ministry, ignoring his advice to keep out names of those facing court case.