Two more Karnataka ministers quit, more may follow

Last Updated: Thu, Feb 21, 2013 12:00 hrs

Bangalore, Feb 21 (IANS) Two ministers quit the Karnataka government Thursday and were set to resign from the assembly and the ruling BJP too amid speculation that more would follow ahead of the assembly polls due in May.

Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar and Small Scale Industries Minister Narasimha Nayak, also known as Raju Gouda, submitted their resignations to Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar here.

The two would quit the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also once their resignations from the ministry and the assembly are accepted, Nayak told reporters here.

The two headed to Madikeri, about 250 km from Bangalore, to meet Speaker K.G. Bopaiah to submit their resignation from the assembly. Madikeri is Bopaiah's hometown.

Both ministers are said to be keen to join the Congress.

The two resignations heightened the weeks-long speculation that at least a dozen members of the Shettar cabinet would quit before the assembly polls, a majority of them wanting to join the Congress.

The others were said to be going to Janata Dal-Secular or Karnataka Janata Party headed by former BJP chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Besides Yogeshwar and Nayak, the BJP is about to lose two more assembly members, - Belur Gopalakrishna from Shimoga district, about 280 km from Bangalore, and H.S. Shankaralinge Gowda from Mysore, around 130 km from here.

The two announced earlier this week that they would soon quit the BJP.

While Gowda has said he would join the JD-S, Gopalakrishna has indicated that he is keen to go to the Congress.

Elections to the 225-member assembly are due in May.

At present the political parties in the state are busy preparing for the polls to 208 urban local bodies scheduled for March 7.

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