Two ruling BJP legislators on Monday sought to turn the tables on former party strongman B S Yeddyurappa by seeking the disqualification of 12 MLAs who have thrown in their lot with him, for 'anti-party' activities.
The petition signed by two ruling party MLAs – Beluru Gopalakrishna and M V Nagaraju -- was submitted to the Secretary of the Legislative Assembly, P Omprakasha. Speaker K G Bopaiah was not present.
"We have filed the petition on anti-party activities of the 12 MLAs in the last two-three months and requested their disqualification", Gopalakrishana told reporters, adding, a CD and documents on their 'anti-party' activities was submitted along with the petition.
Last Thursday, 13 BJP MLAs loyal to Yeddyurappa, chief of the recently launched Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), went to the Speaker's office to submit their resignations from the assembly but could not do so as Bopaiah was out of station.
They then trooped into the Raj Bhavan and appealed to Governor H R Bhardwaj to intervene and ensure that their resignations are accepted by the Speaker. Later, the 13 sent their resignations to Bopaiah by e-mail.
Two MLAs -- Thippeswamy and Vittala Katakadonda (who were part of the 13 MLAs who wanted to resign last Thursday) -- did not figure in the list of 12 MLAs submitted to the Speaker's office. But the name of Sunil Valyapure, who the KJP claimed had also resigned taking their grouping's strength to 14, was included.
Gopalakrishna urged the Speaker to first consider their petition seeking disqualification -- and not the resignation letters. "We are the first to file the petition. They have not resigned (resignation letters have not reached the Speaker)", he said.
Gopalakrishna was accompanied among others by advocates and another BJP MLA Sarvabhouma Bagali.
The Governor said on Saturday there is no constitutional crisis in the State, adding, the Jagadish Shettar government enjoyed a majority.
Reports said KJP is working overtime on wooing more BJP MLAs so that the government is reduced to a minority.
The bone of contention now appears to be the budget slated to be presented on February 8. Yeddyurappa is hell-bent on preventing Shettar from presenting it, apprehending that the latter would try to carve out a political constituency for himself and BJP might come out with populist schemes in the election year, denting KJP's prospects.
In the 225-member Assembly, BJP has a strength of 117 excluding the Speaker and it requires 113 for a simple majority. Congress has 71 members and JDS 26. There are seven Independents and two vacancies. One member is nominated.
Gopalakrishna urged the Speaker to first consider their petition seeking disqualification - and not the resignation letters.
"We are the first to file the petition. They have not resigned (resignation letters have not reached the Speaker)", he said.