It is a situation of touch-and-go for Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, with the Karnataka Janata Party of the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa expected to hold a crucial meeting in Bangalore on Friday largely to decide on whether to force a collapse of the Bharatiya Janata Party government and if so the date and manner in which it should be executed.

Sources close to Mr. Yeddyurappa told The Hindu that the executive committee meeting of the KJP called on Friday was not only a preparatory meeting for the elections to the Legislative Assembly, but to also hear out the views of the leaders and legislators on when to unplug their connection with the BJP, more so, since all of them have been elected to the Assembly on BJP ticket. At a meeting with the editors of newspapers and television news channels in Bangalore on Wednesday, Mr. Yeddyurappa said any decision to withdraw support to the government would be executed only after January 14 (Sankranti festival ) .

Mr. Shettar is, however, confident that there is no threat to the government and that it will last its term, although Mr Yeddyurappa has given a deadline to all the ministers and legislators to tender their resignation to the Assembly and the BJP by January 20. It is another matter that the Ministers are seriously out at work with the incumbent Chief Minister thus indicating that they have not really given a serious consideration to the deadline given by their political mentor.

It is quite obvious that Mr Yeddyurappa, though keen on bringing down the government at the earliest, cannot force a decision since it could always boomerang against the KJP should the legislators look the other way. Further, elections to the Legislative Assembly are either way just a few months from now and withdrawing support to the government at the present juncture will only make a marginal difference.

Upset

Mr. Yeddyurappa is, however, upset with Mr Jagadish Shettar over the manner in which his close confidante B.J. Puttaswamy was dropped from the Ministry apart from many of his supporters who have been ousted as the heads of the various boards and corporations. In his view, Mr. Shettar has “lost the moral right to continue as Chief Minister+”, leave alone working at presenting the next State budget as the government has been reduced to a minority over the past month with several legislators submitting or proposing to submit their resignation.

The former Chief Minister said that during his extensive tours across the State that people have been suggesting that the Assembly should be dissolved. “The administration of the State is at a standstill and development works, particularly in the constituencies where the legislators are associated with the KJP, have come to a halt. Why then should we support this Government”.

The KJP has no plans to associate with any political party during the run up to the Assembly elections and an alliance with any political party will only be after the elections. “As of now given the overwhelming resp*onse that the party has been receiving since the December 9 convention held at Haveri, we are confident of forming a government on our own” is what Mr Yeddyurappa is saying.

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