Posted On Monday, July 02, 2012 at 09:54:47 AM
|The faction led by Yeddyurappa (right) has been claiming the backing of around 70 MLAs in the 225-member Karnataka assembly. Right: Sadananda Gowda
The crisis in the ruling BJP in Karnataka deepened on Sunday with the rebel faction led by former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa setting July 5 as the deadline for removing Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and replacing him with their nominee Jagadish Shettar.
The Chief Minister will head for Delhi on Monday for a meeting with BJP president Nitin Gadkari and other top party leaders.
Stepping up the heat two days after nine ministers, loyal to Yeddyurappa, quit the Karnataka cabinet, his camp released a list of 51 MLAs who attended a meeting held at the residence of Shettar and rallied behind him in a show of strength.
Eight Lok Sabha members from the state and at least 15 members of legislative council attended the meeting, Raju Gowda, who was among the ministers who resigned, told reporters.
“We have unanimously decided to appeal to the high-command to make Shettar the chief minister,” he said.
“We are confident that a good decision will come by July 5. If it does not come (by then), we will meet and take an important decision on July 5”, he added.
Those attending the meeting authorised Yeddyurappa and Shettar to take a decision on political developments, saying they will abide by it.
They appealed to the party high-command to call the Legislature Party meeting. Raju Gowda said if it was not done, legislators loyal to Yeddyurappa themselves would convene one.
BJP has sent Dharmendra Pradhan as its emissary here in a bid to mollify the rebels.
For the BJP central leadership, the power struggle in Karnataka has become a big embarrassment. Every time Yeddyurappa has upped the ante, efforts have been made to pacify him but this period is shortlived.
In the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, BJP has a total strength of 120 and Yeddyurappa has been claiming the backing of around 70 MLAs.