BANGALORE: Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda seems to be skating on thin ice as 58 party legislators, including about a dozen ministers, revolted openly demanding immediate convening of BJP Legislature Party meeting to elect a new leader.
In a sudden political development to demonstrate their strength, the supporters of former CM B S Yeddyurappa boarded a BMTC bus and headed to a resort on the outskirts of the city on Sunday.
The legislators include Rural and Panchayath Raj Minister Jagadish Shettar, Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Industry Minister Murugesh Nirani, Power Minister Shobha Karandlaje, PWD Minister C M Udasi, Excise Minister Renukacharya, Animal Husbandry Revunaik Belamagi, Small-Scale Industries Minister Raju Gowda and Agriculture Minister Umesh V Katti.
“We have resolved to demand a change in leadership in the BJP Legislature Party in the next 48 hours” C M Udasi said.
Earlier at a press conference at B S Yeddyurappa’s residence, the ministers said a memorandum signed by 58 legislators would be faxed to party’s central leaders pressing their demand.
Bommai said, “It was a collective decision to urge the central party leaders to read the pulse of the party workers in the state and take an appropriate decision. We have decided to appeal to the high command at the Centre seeking reinstatement of former Yeddyurappa as he has come clean of Lokayukta charges.”
Echoing similar sentiments, Yeddyurappa, who led the MLAs to the resort, said party men in the state, including ministers, MLAs as well as ordinary party workers, strongly felt for the change in leadership in the interest of the party.
The former CM said after holding parleys with the ministers and the MLAs it was decided to stay put at the resort. “About 15 more legislators are also expected to join them on Monday,” he said.
He also expressed confidence that party’s central leaders would respond to their plea positively. Stating that earlier the party legislators wanted to go to New Delhi and meet party top brass, Yeddyurappa said they, however, decided to stay put at the resort as leaders in Delhi were busy in the process of RS elections.
Jagadish Shettar, who was also present, refused to comment on the political developments inside the party. He however, strongly defended the move by the MLAs to bring pressure on the party. He blamed CM D V Sadananda Gowda’s attitude towards his Cabinet colleagues for the present development. “He (Gowda) never bothered to consult senior colleagues before taking important decisions,” he added.