Bangalore, Dec 10: The BJP government in Karnataka faced a crisis after 21 of the party's 118 MLAs in the 224-member assembly openly supported former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and attended a breakfast meeting with him.
Thirteen of the MLAs were present on the stage when the former Chief Minister formally launched his party, the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP). Sources said that the threatened BJP is likely to demand dissolution of the assembly. The final decision is awaited in a couple of days, it is learnt. The party, it seems, doesn't want to give BSY a chance to call the shots by toppling the government and wants to dissolve the House by itself.
Sending a stern warning to the BSY loyalists, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Sunday sacked his trusted aide BJ Puttaswamy from the ministry while the party also suspended Tumkur MP GS Basavaraju. Ruling out any possibility of resigning, Shettar said he would take action against those defied who the party's directive and took part in BSY's rally.
BSY, on the other hand, slammed the BJP for taking action against Puttaswamy and Basavaraju and said he was wondering why the BJP was not taking action against all those who were supporting him. He challenged the BJP to dissolve the assembly and seek a fresh mandate instead of dilly-dallying and taking selective action.
The BJP has 118 members in the assembly while the Congress has 71 and JD(S) 26 members. There are seven Independents while two seats are vacant.
A confident BSY said it is a known fact that the BJP government was continuing in power with the support of his supporters. Claiming that it was because of his leadership that the party had succeeded in forming its first-ever government in southern India in 2008 and warned that the people of Karnataka would not tolerate the kind of treatment that was being meted out to him and selective action against his supporters.
The latest tussle between the BJP and BSY has also prompted the Opposition, the Congress, to demand the government's resignation from office for it has been reduced to a minority. Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President G Parameshwara and Opposition leader in the assembly Siddaramaiah said the BJP government was nearing its end.