BANGALORE: In escalation of factional feud in ruling BJP in Karnataka, seven ministers and six MLAs loyal to the state BJP strongman, Mr B S Yeddyurappa on Saturday night handed over their resignations to him, pressing for leadership change in the state and triggering a fresh bout of crisis in the state unit of the party.
The Yeddyurappa loyalists, who have been pressing their demand after the Chief Minister, Mr D V Sadananda Gowda complained to the BJP President, Mr Nitin Gadkari about the “anti-party” activities indulged in by some ministers, have decided to come out of the ministry, sources in Yeddyurappa camp said.
Ministers Ms Shobha Karandlaje, Mr Basavaraj Bommai, Mr Umesh Katti, Mr C M Udasi, Mr V Somanna, Mr M P Renukacharya and Mr Murugesh Nirani submitted their resignation letters to Mr Yeddyurappa on Saturday evening, they said.
However the Karnataka Chief Minister said he was unaware of resignation by some ministers in the state.
“I have not received any resignation letter so far. There is no crisis in BJP,” Mr Gowda told reporters in Mangalore when his reaction was sought over the resignation letters submitted by seven ministers to Mr Yeddyurappa.
He said he would visit Delhi on Sunday to participate in the 60th anniversary celebrations of Parliament at the invitation by the Lok Sabha Speaker, Ms Meira Kumar.
“Our leader is free to take any decision on our resignation. Since we have been accused of indulging in anti-party activities, though we have not done anything, we chose to quit,” one of the ministers said.
The sources also said at least six MLAs have also handed over their resignation from the assembly to Mr Yeddyurappa.
The letters were handed over to Mr Yeddyurappa at a meeting held at his residence, they said.
Mr Yeddyurappa has been holding consultations with his loyalists a day after the Supreme Court ordered a CBI probe against him in connection with illegal mining.
Efforts by RSS leader Mr Satish to mollify Mr Yeddyurappa and persuade him not to take any hasty step has failed to yield results after both the leaders met briefly on Saturday.
About 38 MLAs, including some ministers, have already shot off a letter to Mr Gowda demanding convening of an emergent legislature party meeting to discuss party affairs in the state and his complaint to the party central leadership, which the Chief Minister has rejected.
On March 24, Mr Gowda and the state BJP president, Mr K S Eswarappa sent a letter seeking action against some ministers, loyal to Mr Yeddyurappa accusing them of indulging in anti-party activities.
Mr Gowda has maintained there was no need for calling a legislature party meeting to discuss the content of a correspondence between him and Mr Gadkari.
Mr Yeddyurappa (70) had intensified his campaign to regain chief ministership since February after the Karnataka High Court had quashed an illegal mining case filed against him and also the sanction accorded by the Governor, Mr H R Bhardwaj to prosecute him.
With the party central leadership cold-shouldering his efforts to stage a comeback and asking him to come clean in the corruption cases against him, Mr Yeddyurappa has turned the focus on removal of Mr Sadandana Gowda.