Ministers Shobha Karandlaje, Udasi among those who will resign from Assembly

The former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa is set to put the Jagadish Shettar Ministry on the mat on Wednesday when around 15 BJP MLAs owing allegiance to him, including Ministers Shobha Karandlaje and C.M. Udasi, are expected to resign from the Legislative Assembly and give up membership of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

According to sources close to Mr. Yeddyurappa, these MLAs will meet Speaker K.G. Bopaiah and submit their resignation letters to him. However, they will not meet the Governor to seek further action as they do not want to be held responsible for toppling the government, said a prominent leader who is among those set to quit.

Therefore, there may not be any immediate threat to the Shettar government unless the Governor asks for a vote of confidence or the Opposition parties make such a demand.

“Our main intention is to display our strength and show that the BJP’s as well as the Shettar government’s strength will significantly diminish without us. Above all, we have to build the party (KJP) ahead of the Assembly polls by severing links with the BJP,” the leader said on condition of anonymity.

The BJP has a strength of 119 MLAs in the 223-member (two seats are vacant) Assembly, including a nominated MLA, the Speaker and an Independent member who is part of the Ministry.

If 15 MLAs quit, the government will narrowly lose its majority. But BJP leaders are confident of mustering the support from others, including Independents, to make up the required numbers.

Interestingly, Mr. Shettar is embarking on a two-day visit to various districts in north Karnataka on Wednesday. He will return to Bangalore late on Thursday night.

Ms. Karandlaje, Energy Minister, dropped enough hints of her plans to quit by remarking at a press conference in Bangalore on Tuesday that it could be her last press conference as a member of the BJP government. She also held a meeting with top-ranking officials of the power sector and hosted a dinner for them.

Meanwhile, Harihar MLA B.P. Harish announced that he would quit the Assembly and the BJP on Wednesday to join the KJP. A similar announcement was made by another BJP MLA, Nehru Olekar.

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