Karnataka crisis: Two more ministers quit, to join Congress

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Yogeshwar and Raju
Bangalore, Feb 21: Two ministers C.P. Yogeshwar and Small Industries Minister Narasimha Nayak (also known as Raju Gowda) quit the Karnataka BJP ministry today. They were set to resign from the assembly and the party. The two ministers are said to be keen to join the Congress party.

Gowda told reporters here that they have submitted their resignation to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar. They would also meet Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to submit the resignation from the assembly, he said.

Ironically, Yogeshwar, came to the BJP from the Congress and represents Channapatna. Yogeshwar was going over to the Congress and search for a safe seat as he does not want take on JD(S) leaders HD Deve Gowda and HD Kumaraswamy in the assembly elections as Kumaraswamy's wife Anitha Kumaraswamy is likely to shift her base from Madhugiri to Channapatna.

Another BJP legislator Gopalakrishna Belur has also expressed displeasure over not getting any prominent position in the BJP and indicated that he was on his way out of the ruling party. But he did not make it clear whether he would join the Congress.

The legislators in Karnataka are restless and more movement across various parties is expected now as the elections to the urban local bodies are being held. They have to prepare the ground for contesting the Assembly elections by getting ticket for their supporters in the urban local bodies polls from the parties which they want to join.

According to Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president G. Parameshwara nearly 20 MLAs from the BJP, including several Ministers, and the Janata Dal(S), were keen on joining the Congress. The KPCC had submitted the list of these aspirants to the high command seeking approval. However, the high command was yet to give its clearance, he said. He made it clear that the high command's clearance was a must for including people from other parties. The Congress high command seems to have approved the entry of BJP MLAs B Suresh Gowda and Pratapgouda Patil and four independent MLAs - PM Narendraswamy, M Venkataramanappa, D Sudhakar and Shivaraj Thangadagi.

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