In signs of more trouble for the Reddy brothers facing Opposition heat over illegal mining issue, a group of about 13 ruling BJP MLAs on Friday met Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa and demanded action against them.
Led by Excise Minister Renukacharya, a dissident-turned Yeddyurappa loyalist, the legislators met Mr. Yeddyurappa and pledged their support to any possible action against the three ministers - Janardhana Reddy, his brother Karunakara Reddy and their associate B. Sriramulu.
Sources close to the MLAs said they held the Reddy brothers and Sriramulu, all mining magnates from mine-rich Bellary in the State, responsible for forcing the Congress to launch the padayatra against illegal mining.
The legislators, sources said, told Mr. Yeddyurappa that certain actions of the Bellary trio had dented the image of the party and its government in the State.
The MLAs also told Yeddyurappa that they planned to launch “hatao Bellary ministers and save BJP” campaign next week.
Renukacharya and other legislators were part of the dissident group controlled by Reddy brothers when they revolted against Mr. Yeddyurappa last October before switching sides.
Some of the MLAs rallying behind Mr. Renukacharaya are aspirants for ministerial slots in the proposed ministry restructuring likely to be taken up by Mr. Yeddyurappa next month.
Reddy brothers and Mr. Sriramulu have been targeted by the opposition Congress and JDS on the illegal mining issue but Mr. Yeddyurappa has given a clean chit to them and ruled out a CBI probe on the mining issue.
Countering the Congress padayatra, the three ministers have also launched a similar programme ignoring party’s advice against it. Mr. Yeddyurappa said today that he was personally against the padayatra by the ministers.