Karnataka BJP powerless: Shobha Karandlaje quits to join KJP

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Bangalore, Jan 23: Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Wednesday, Jan 23 resigned from Karnataka cabinet as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader. According to sources, Karandlaje, a BS Yeddyurappa loyalist, soon will join the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), led by the latter.

Karandlaje along with CM Udasi resigned from the party to oppose Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar from presenting his maiden budget Feb 8. Udasi held public works portfolio. 20 more BSY loyalists are expected to quit from the party later on the day.

Earlier, 13 MLAs loyalist to BSY, who quit the BJP, shared the dais with the Lingayat leader to openly defy the party's warning of taking action against any legislator who dared to take part in the rally or joined the former BJP chief minister.

Shobha Karandlaje

Yeddyurappa, meanwhile, slammed the BJP for taking 'selective actions' after the latter made a move against Puttaswamy and Basavaraju. He said the party knows very well who all are supporting him but is still dilly-dallying to take decisive action against them. He challenged the BJP leadership, asking the latter to dissolve the assembly and go for a fresh mandate.

The BJP has 118 seats in the 224-member assembly, followed by the Congress (71), JDS (26) and seven Independents. Two seats are vacant. The BJP government is currently led by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.

Yeddyurappa, who became the state's first BJP chief minister in 2008 but subsequently lost the ploy and ultimately quit the part recently, strongly favoured the formation of a new regional party and said it had a bright future in the state politics. He referred to such parties' role in states like Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal where neither of the two national parties have any decisive political role.

The leader said he would begin a state-wide tour from Bidar in the next four-five days to build the new party. His rally was also attended by three MLCs, namely, Mumtaz Ali Khan, Sajjan and MD Lakshminarayana (who is the general secretary of the KJP).

Yeddyurappa had a prolonged feud with the BJP's central leadership after he was asked to quit the chief minister's post in July last year over the Lokayukta report on illegal mining indicting him. His attempts to regain the post did not succeed and he was also overlooked the party for the post of state BJP president. This proved to the breaking point between the two sides.

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