The BJP Government in Karnataka on Sunday faced the threat of instability after 13 state lawmakers defied the party's whip to extend support to former state chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and his newly formed Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).
The 13 MLAs shared the dais with Yeddyurappa, placing the BJP in a quandary.
Seeing the backing, a combative Yeddyurappa asked Karnataka Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to seek a fresh mandate from the people.
He said: "Shettar said action will be taken against legislators if they participated in today's rally. The government has no majority now. You are in Chief Minister's chair because of the support of Yeddyurappa. If you have the guts, dissolve the Assembly and seek fresh mandate".
Among thos present at the rally were H. Halappa, Nehru Olekar, BP Harish, C C Patil and Sunil Valyapure, who tendered his resigation yesterday as Infrastructure Development Minister.
Shettar, however, asserted that he still commanded a majority in the state assembly.
In another sign of potential trouble for the five-month-old Shettar government, at a breakfast hosted by MLC Shivaraj Sajjan here, at least 21 MLAs, seven MLCs and four Lok Sabha members met Yeddyurappa.
Seven ministers, including Basavaraja Bommai, CM Udasi, Murugesh Nirani and Shobha Karandlaje, were among those present at this meeting. But they, except Valyapure, skipped the rally, apparently to avoid the wrath of the party.
In the 224-member assembly, BJP has a strength of 118, Congress 71, JDS 26, Independents seven and two vacancies. (ANI)