The ruling BJP in Karnataka was on Wednesday thrown into fresh quagmire with two ministers resigning and 11 more MLAs loyal to former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa announcing their decision to quit the assembly membership, raising questions about its government's stability.
Jolting the six-month-old Jagadish Shettar ministry, public works minister CM Udasi and energy minister Shobha Karandlaje quit followed by high drama at Speaker KG Bopiah's office where they and 11 other MLAs tried to submit their resignation letters but in vain.
Bopaiah was not in office when the MLAs trooped in as he was reportedly out of station while the assembly legislature secretary Omprakash was also not present, prompting an enraged Yeddyurappa to rush there,insisting that the government had been reduced to a minority.
The agitated MLAs insisted that their resignation letters be accepted by an official or an acknowledgement given that they are not empowered to receive them but assembly joint secretary Jayatheertha Galali told them to submit resignations "when Speaker comes to office".
During the one-hour drama, a livid Yeddyurappa, who recently floated the Karnataka Janata Party, said, "The Shettar government has been reduced to a minority. He has no moral right to continue in office. He should call off his tour, return to the city and resign."
In fact, Bopaiah had been alerted about the resignation of MLAs on Tuesday itself, but he chose to leave on a tour, alleged Yeddyurappa. "It is a shameless government. Shettar should meet the governor and tender his resignation," he added.
Shortly thereafter, the 13 MLAs drove to Raj Bhavan and asked Governor H R Bhardwaj to take suitable steps for acceptance of their resignations by Bopaiah.