K’taka crisis: BJP to ‘wait & watch’

Union minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunsi addresses a Congress party rally in Agartala, Tripura, on Monday.

Union minister of state for urban development Deepa Dasmunsi addresses a Congress party rally in Agartala, Tripura, on Monday.

Faced with a fresh crisis in Karnataka, where its former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa has launched a new political outfit and has unsettled the Jagdish Shettar-led government by claiming the support of a sizeable number of BJP MLAs, the saffron party has decided to adopt a “wait-and-watch” approach for now. After 13 BJP MLAs and some MPs defying party order attended the function in Haveri where Mr Yeddyurappa, a lingayat strongman, launched his new outfit- Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), BJP top brass is expected to meet on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.
Sources disclosed the saffron party is weighing all options available to it and is trying to see how best it can save its first government in the South. Mr Yeddyurappa had been claiming that its a coalition government of BJP-KJP in Karnataka. The former state CM recently quit the BJP to launch his own outfit. He had to quit from the CM post in the wake of corruption charges against him.
Speculation is also rife within the party that a section within the BJP top brass is also mulling about seeking dissolution of the state assembly and going in for early polls rather than allowing Mr Yeddyurappa to get any political advantage. However, this section is also not ruling out the fact that Mr Yeddyurappa, who is considered as the tallest leader of the powerful lingayat community in the state, will need some time to increase his party base. But then there is also a threat of Opposition demanding the Shettar government to prove majority. Currently BJP has 118 MLAs in the 224 member assembly. But a sizeable number of these MLAs are considered the former CM’s loyalists. Mr Yeddyurappa had on Sunday dared the BJP to dissolve the assembly and seek a fresh mandate claiming that Shettar government had no majority in the assembly now.
Only last week, BJP had suspended the primary membership of its Tumkur MP G.S. Basavraj and sacked cooperative minister B.J. Puttaswamy from the state Cabinet for publicly supporting Mr Yeddyurappa.

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