Yeddyurappa supporters to submit their resignations to Bopaiah today

Yet another obstacle appears to have come up on the path of the Bharatiya Janata Party rebel MLAs — owing allegiance to the former Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa — who are set to submit their resignation letters to Speaker K.G. Bopaiah on Tuesday after their effort to quit Assembly seats on January 23 failed due to the Speaker’s absence. In a counter-strategy, two BJP MLAs filed a petition before the Assembly Secretary on Monday seeking disqualification of 12 rebel MLAs from the Assembly membership on charges of alleged “anti-party” activities.

The petition, which was signed by MLAs Belur Gopalakrishna and M.V. Nagaraju and addressed to the Speaker, was submitted to the Assembly Secretary as the Speaker was unavailable when they sought to meet him in his office. Political circles are interpreting this as an effort to stall the resignations of the rebels given the prayer of the petitioners to the Speaker to desist from accepting the resignations of these 12 rebel MLAs till their petition seeking disqualification is disposed of.

The petitioners maintained that the rebels were liable to be disqualified under Section 2 (1) (a) of the 10 Schedule (Anti-Defection law) of the Constitution as they had associated themselves with the activities of the Karnataka Janata Paksha of Mr. Yeddyurappa without quitting their Assembly seats won on the BJP ticket.

While Shobha Karandlaje and C.M. Udasi had attended a tea-party hosted by Mr. Yeddyurappa in Haveri on December 9 prior to a rally where he took over as State president of the KJP, the others had attended not only the Haveri rally, but also an executive committee meeting of the KJP held on January 4, they alleged. The petitioners, who demanded that these rebels be disqualified with effect from December 9 , submitted CDs containing clippings of video and newspapers as evidence.

Interestingly, the petitioners have omitted the name of two rebels — Thippeswamy and Vittala Katakadonda, who were among the 13 MLAs who wanted to resign on January 23 — in their petition. However, they have included the name of the former Minister Sunil Vallyapure, who has announced that he too would quit. This has given room to speculation that the BJP may be making efforts to woo them.

Rebels to quit today

Meanwhile, the rebel MLAs have decided to submit their resignations on Tuesday to the Speaker when he is expected to attend office on return to Bangalore.

Mr. Yeddyurappa who is said to be keen to prevent Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar from presenting the State Budget is reportedly making efforts to ensure that the number of the MLAs who are ready to quit is comfortable to topple the government. The trouble starts for the BJP only if more than 15 of its MLAs quit as it has a total strength of 120 — including the Speaker, nominated member and an Independent — in the 223-member Assembly.

More In: Karnataka | National