Shettar confident of majority despite 12 MLAs' resignation

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 B S Yeddyurappa and Jagadish Shettar
Bangalore, Jan 30: Notwithstanding the threat of more resignations by ruling BJP ministers and legislators loyal to B S Yeddyurappa, Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar today 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. Bopaiah had sought help from the Speaker of Lok Sabha as there was petition of BJP pending against 12 legslators. These legislators had held dharna in front of the speaker's chamber in Bangalore till late night and moved out only after the resignations were accepted.

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.

With the acceptance of resignation of 12 MLAs, BJP has a strength of 105, Congress 71, JDS 26,independents seven (one of whom is supporting the Government and is in the Ministry) and the Speaker. The magic number for the Shettar government is 106.

(With PTI input)

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