Increasing threat to Karnataka government's survival

Last Updated: Thu, Jan 03, 2013 06:50 hrs

Bangalore, Jan 3 (IANS) The survival of the BJP government in Karnataka till the assembly polls in May appears doubtful as former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa and his supporters in the BJP are expected to make a decisive move Friday to pull it down at the earliest.

The working committee of Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), of which Yeddyurappa became president Dec 9 after quitting the BJP Nov 30, is meeting Friday to finalise strategy to bring down Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar's government, the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) third ministry in over four years.

Yeddyurappa, BJP's first chief minister in Karnataka, does not want to allow Shettar to present a budget as that would be obviously populist and could give advantage to the BJP in the polls.

Though governments are expected to refrain from going in for a full-fledged budget if the elections are a few months away, Shettar is determined to present one.

Generally, Karnataka budget is presented after the central government budget is presented to parliament on the last day of February.

However, since assembly polls are due in May, Shettar has announced he would present the budget in the second week of February.

His office has been giving wide publicity to pre-budget meetings he has been holding with officials of various departments.

Shettar has also been going round saying his budget would be farmers' friendly and he was not worried about Yeddyurappa's plans to pull down the government.

While Yeddyurappa has been keeping mum on the details of the planned move to topple the Shettar government, his supporters have been claiming that over 20 BJP legislators would attend the KJP working committee meeting and then quit the assembly and the BJP.

Nehru Olekar, a BJP legislator and Yeddyurappa loyalist, told reporters in north Karnataka town of Haveri, about 400 km from here, Wednesday that "25 to 30 BJP assembly members are ready to leave BJP and the KJP meeting will take a final call on the move."

The BJP has 117 members, including the speaker, in the 225-member assembly that includes a nominated member.

The Congress has 71 and Janata Dal-Secular 26 members. There are seven independents, one of whom supports the BJP and is a cabinet minister. Three seats are vacant.

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