Karnataka Assembly Speaker K.G. Bopaiah on Tuesday put on hold resignations of 12 ruling BJP MLAs loyal to former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, even as the former founder of his Karnataka Janata Party removed the latter as party chief.

Earlier, BJP MLAs loyal to Mr. Yeddyurappa submitted their resignation letters in person to Mr. Bopaiah.

Mr. Bopaiah, who had one-on-one meetings with the MLAs, put on hold the resignations.

Mr. Yeddyurappa slammed Mr. Bopaiah’s action, terming it as a “murder of democracy” and demanded the Speaker’s resignation.

“The BJP hatched the conspiracy to disqualify 12 MLAs supporting me only yesterday and Bopaiah is acting like a puppet at the hands of the ruling party,” he said.

The MLAs had tried to submit their resignations to Mr. Bopaiah on Saturday, but he was not in station, an issue over which they cried foul and submitted copies of the letters to Governor H.R. Bhardwaj.

In a counter offensive, two BJP legislators had petitioned the Speaker on Monday, seeking disqualification of the 12 rebels.

In another jolt, KJP founder president Padmanabha Prasanna has sent a communication to the Election Commission, stating that the party’s emergency executive meeting on December 20, 2012 had decided to revoke the decision to nominate Mr. Yeddyurappa as its State unit president.

After breaking ranks with the BJP, Mr. Yeddyurappa had taken over as KJP president at a rally at Haveri in North Karnataka on December 9, 2012. The KJP had been in existence earlier but became prominent after Mr. Yeddyurappa joined the party.

Mr. Prasanna in his January 3, 2013 letter to the poll panel, released to the press in Bangalore, said the KJP’s emergency executive committee had decided that he would retain the post as president.

Rubbishing Mr. Prasanna’s move to dislodge him from the party post, Mr. Yeddyurappa said the former had already informed the EC on giving up the post and that he had taken over as president.

In a swift retaliation, the KJP expelled Mr. Prasanna from the party’s primary membership.

More In: Karnataka | National | News | States