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BJP cracks the whip ahead of Yeddyurappa rally

Special Correspondent
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Sacks Minister Puttaswamy and suspends MP Basavaraju

B.J. Puttaswamy
B.J. Puttaswamy

On the eve of the former Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yeddyurappa’s rally at Haveri on Sunday, where he will take charge as president of the Karnataka Janata Paksha (KJP), the BJP cracked the whip on two members of his camp, dismissing Cooperation Minister B.J. Puttaswamy from the Cabinet and suspending Tumkur MP G.S. Basavaraju from the party.

The party issued a stern warning to other legislators, MPs and Ministers that they would face a similar action if they either attended the rally or associated themselves with the KJP.

BJP State president K.S. Eshwarappa made it clear to the Yeddyurappa camp members that legislators and MPs would have to resign from the Assembly or Parliament if they wanted to attend the rally or have any association with the KJP.

The decision was taken after a marathon meeting between the BJP’s State core committee — comprising top leaders, including Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar and Mr. Eshwarappa — and central party leaders in Delhi. The meeting is learnt to have decided not to compromise on discipline and to be ready to “sacrifice” the government if a sizeable number of MLAs attended the rally. “We are firm in our decision to either suspend or expel such MLAs from the party, even if it leads to the collapse of the government,” sources in the party said.

Breakfast meeting

Meanwhile, to prevent any disciplinary action against them, the Yeddyurappa camp members are planning to have just a breakfast meeting at Haveri instead of attending the rally. But the BJP is learnt to have decided to keep a watch on the meeting and will act if the meeting turns out to be a KJP forum or a venue to target the party organisation.

Reacting to the BJP’s action, Mr. Yeddyurappa challenged the party to dissolve the Assembly and face fresh elections.

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