The on-again, off-again political crisis time in Karnataka continued on Friday when nine ministers loyal to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa resigned from the state Cabinet.
These include Jagadish Shettar, considered to be the chief-minister-in-waiting, Yeddyurappa's close aide Shobha Karandlage and seven others including Basavaraj Bommai, V Somana, Renukacharya, C M Udasi.
They submitted their resignations to Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda at his residence.
Although their letter does not seek a change in leadership, the ministers have said that the MLAs have lost confidence in the CM. They have also pointed out that despite many requests, a legislature party meeting had not been convened.
The resignation of these nine cabinet ministers will not pose any immediate threat to the Bharatiya Janata Party government as its majority in assembly will remain the same. But more leaders are expected to resign in a day or two as the party faction led by Yeddyurappa has been pushing for a change in CM.
In the last communication to the central leadership, the Yeddyurappa faction had demanded that Jagadish Shettar be made the CM. Shettar is from the Lingayat community and the BJP needs the support of this major vote-bank.
BJP president Eshwarappa has also jumped in the fray by indicating that he is a contender for the top post.
To add to the woes of the top leadership, another set of BJP MLAs loyal to Sadananda Gowda have threatened to quit if he is shunted out. A meeting of these MLAs has been convened at 3 pm, before the visit of senior leader Dharmendra Pradhan to Bangalore.