12 who quit the party will join KJP today

The resignation by 12 MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party owing allegiance to the former Chief Minister and Karnataka Janata Paksha president B.S. Yeddyurappa has triggered hectic political activities behind the scenes.

While Mr. Yeddyurappa is trying to get some more MLAs to quit in a bid to topple the Jagadish Shettar government, which has only a wafer-thin majority, the ruling BJP is making serious efforts to counter his moves.

KJP sources said that their leader was trying to convince another three or four MLAs from the BJP to quit this week. But BJP sources noted that they had established contact with these MLAs and taken “precautionary measures” to retain them in the party.

“Our main focus is to ensure that the party majority in the Assembly is not eroded. We have initiated several measures, including establishing contact with the MLAs approached by Mr. Yeddyurappa. Some of them have assured us of remaining in the BJP,” BJP sources said while expressing the confidence that the Chief Minister would be able to present the budget without any hitch.

Top BJP leaders, including Mr. Shettar, State unit president K.S. Eshwarappa and general secretary Ananth Kumar, met in Bangalore on Wednesday to take stock of the developments and review the measures taken to save the government.

As its entire focus is now on saving the government, the BJP is learnt to have decided to put on hold its plans to expand the Ministry till the Governor’s address to the joint legislature session on February 4.

Even the plan to appoint a full-time State unit president has been put off till the Governor’s address.

Meanwhile, the 12 MLAs are set to join the Karnataka Janata Paksha in Bangalore on Thursday. These former MLAs, including the former Minister Shobha Karandlaje, resigned from the primary membership of the BJP on Wednesday.

A decision on the resignation of MLA Vittal Katakdonda, which was not accepted on Tuesday due to a procedural lapse, is yet to be taken.

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