13 Karnataka BJP MLAs backing ex-CM Yeddyurappa resign
As many as 13 BJP MLAs owing allegiance to former chief minister B.S.Yeddyurappa resigned from the assembly membership on Tuesday, but Karnataka legislative assembly speaker KG Bopaiah declined to immediately accept their resignation letters with the exception of one member.
Even as he commenced a one-on-one discussions with the members who had resigned to find out whether it was on their violition or under duress, Bopaiah said he had sought opinion from Lok Sabha Speaker's office. This because BJP MLA Belur Goplakrishna has petitioned the speaker to disqualify these rebel MLAs with the exception of Challakere (Chitradurga district) constituency MLA Thippeswamy for anti-party activities. The 13 MLAs who resigned included two former ministers Shobha Karandlaje and CM Udasi.
It was a day of developments with Bopaiah , who had come under fire by the rebel MLAs for not being available to them last week to resign, being present in his office in Vidhana soudha at 11 am. The 13 MLAs after holding a meeting in Udasi's residence came to the speaker's office and handed over their resignation letters. An hour later, Gopalakrishna petitioned the speaker to disqualify 12 MLAs for anti-party activities such as issuing statements against Shettar in the last couple of days.
Apart from the 12 MLAs, a petition to seek disqualification of MLCs B J Puttaswamy, Mumtaz Ali Khan, Mohan Limbikayi, Bharathi Shetty and Shivaraj Sajjan was also submitted to council secretary. Similar petitions against Yeddyurappa's son who is an MP from Shimoga Lok Sabha constituency BY Raghavendra, Shivakumar C Udasi and G S Basavaraj would be submitted to Lok Sabha speaker in a week's time, Gopalakrishna said.
If Speaker declines to accept the resignations of the 12 MLAs, it will come as a breather for Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, who is presenting his maiden budget on February 8. The BJP government is already tottering with MLAs divided into Shettar, Yeddyurappa and BSR(Congress) MLA B Sriramulu's camps. From a strength of 120 BJP MLAs, the party's strength has reduced to 106 (excluding speaker).
Governor H.R Bharadwaj has hinted that he may have to ask the CM to prove his majority on the floor of the House even if one MLA resigns. Principal opposition party the Congress has said it will decide on its action, once the speaker accepts the resignations.
- Asian Tribune -