With the Bharatiya Janata Party high command firmly ruling out any leadership change in the party-led government in Karnataka, the dissident faction is learnt to have arrived at a stand that it would not press for a leadership change till the presentation of the State budget next year if Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa drops six ministers close to him and includes six MLAs from its group in the ministry.
According to sources, the dissident camp has served an ultimatum of two days to drop six ministers close to Mr. Yeddyurappa failing which they would continue with their demand for an immediate leadership change.
Such a stand was taken by the rebel group after its leaders G. Janardhana Reddy, G. Karunakara Reddy and B. Sriramulu met Speaker Jagadish Shettar in Bangalore on Saturday.
The dissident group claimed that the Chief Minister has told Mr. Shettar that he was ready to include him in his Cabinet within a day or two and that he would consider the demand for dropping other ministers in a phased manner in about a week. But the dissidents are said to be particular that the six ministers should be dropped within two days.
According to sources close to the Speaker, Mr. Shettar is said to be reluctant to join the ministry alone. He is particular that he should join the ministry with others from the dissident faction; they said and explained that this was the reason why he was yet to quit as Speaker.
The dissident camp is said to be seeking the dropping of Ministers Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, C.M. Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, Laxman Savadi and H. Halappa.
The main aim is to clip the Chief Minister’s wings by reducing the number of his hard core supporters in the ministry, sources said.
In return, the dissident faction has suggested that the Chief Minister should include six MLAs including C.T. Ravi, S.A. Ramdas, A. Narayanaswamy and M.P. Renukacharya apart from Mr. Shettar.
The dissident faction claimed that this demand had been discussed with the party high command during the recent negotiations and Mr. Yeddyurappa had agreed to this.
Another demand was constitution of a core committee to enable the Chief Minister to make collective decisions on important issues including transfer of civil servants.
The dissident camp is said to be insisting that party national general secretary Ananth Kumar should head this. The Bellary ministers have reportedly offered to stay out of this committee and to keep Mr. Shettar as their representative in the committee.