K'taka: Two Ministers, Some BJP MLAs Likely to Quit

Karnataka government seems headed for fresh trouble as two ministers and some MLAs, loyal to former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, are likely to resign from their posts tomorrow.

Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, a loyalist of KJP chief Yeddyurappa, dropped hints that she would resign from the ministry tomorrow, ahead of a meeting of his supporters.

"I am proud and have satisfaction of performing well during my tenure as Energy Minister in the last two-and-a-half years. I am leaving the Department. It is my last day, hopefully, in office", Karandlaje told reporters here.

In an embarrassment to CM Jagadish Shettar-led BJP government, Karandlaje had recently questioned it on law and order front in relation to safety of women.

Sources close to Yeddyurappa said Public Works Minister C M Udasi was likely quit the ministry, which has survived repeated threats by the KJP chief to topple it.

Though the Yeddyurappa camp has been claiming the support of 20-30 BJP MLAs and set deadlines, which turned out to be damp squibs with the legislators apparently developing cold feet over quitting the party ahead of assembly elections due in May.

When reporters sought Udasi's reaction on his plans to quit, he said "we will announce tomorrow every thing at a press conference".

B P Harish, MLA and a loyalist of Yeddyurappa, announced at a public meeting in Govinahalli that he was resigning his assembly membership tomorrow.

"I am a follower of Yeddyurappa. Tomorrow, Yeddyurappa has called a meeting of his supporters in Bangalore. I am attending it. I am also resigning my assembly membership," he said.

Sources said about 15-20 MLAs were expected to attend the meeting at Yeddyurappa's residence, march to Vidhana Soudha, state secretariat-cum-assembly complex, and submit their resignation to Speaker K G Bopaiah.

Ministers opting to quit, will send in their resignations to the Chief Minister, sources said.

They said that after submitting resignations, the MLAs were also likely to call on Governor H R Bhardwaj.

Nehru Olekar, MLA, another supporter of Yeddyurappa, said in Haveri that two more ministers -- Murugesh Nirani and M P Renukacharya -- and 16 MLAs would resign tomorrow.

He said they will meet the Speaker and submit their resignations. "If Speaker is not available, we will submit our resignation letters to the Governor", he said.

Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa met Udasi and held discussions on the resignation of MLAs and ministers.

Emerging from the meeting Yeddyurappa declined to speak to media.

Amidst these developments, Shettar held a meeting with farmers' leaders and representatives on problems faced by the community and the measures expected from the government.

"We had a detailed discussions on farmers problems, drought situation and steps to strengthen the agriculture sector," he said.

Shettar is keen on presenting a separate agriculture budget as was done in the last two years. He has already announced plans to present his maiden budget and the last by the BJP Government on February 8.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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