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Yeddurappa to prove majority by Oct 12
Published on 7 Oct. 2010 12:59 AM IST
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Karnataka Governor H.R. Bhardwaj Wednesday asked Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to prove his majority on the floor of the state assembly by Oct 12 after 19 lawmakers withdrew their support to the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in southern India.
Bhardwaj has directed the beleaguered chief minister to prove that he enjoyed majority by 5 p.m. Oct 12 minutes after the 19 legislators, including 14 of the ruling party, submitted a joint letter to him in Raj Bhavan, pushing the government to the brink. On a day of hectic political developments that took even the opposition Congress and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) by surprise, Yeddyurappa sacked four independent ministers for joining the party’s rebel legislators in withdrawing support and expressing lack of confidence in his leadership.
The four independent ministers are Shivaraj S. Tangadagi (agriculture marketing and small scale industries), Venkataramanappa (textile and sericulture), P.M. Narendra Swamy (social welfare) and D. Sudhakar (youth services and prisons).
Of the 14 BJP legislators withdrawing support, three are ministers -- M.P. Renukacharya (excise), Anand Asnotikar (fisheries) and Balachandra Jarkiholi (municipalities and local bodies).
The decision to sack the four ministers was taken at an emergency cabinet meeting Yeddyurappa convened to quell the revolt.
Of the six Independents who extended support to the ruling party after the assembly elections in May 2008 to form the government, five were inducted into the 34-member Yeddyurappa ministry. In the 225-member state assembly, including one nominated member, the BJP won 110 seats, Congress 80 and JD-S 28. There were six independents.
As the BJP fell three seats short of the majority mark (113), the Independents were roped in to support the ruling party in forming the government and proving majority on the floor of the house.
Though Independent lawmaker Varthur Prakash withdrew support subsequently, another Independent - Goolihatti Shekar, who became minister for youth and sport services, was dropped from the ministry Sep 22 along with two BJP ministers - higher education minister Aravind Limbavali and adult education minister Shivanagouda Naik.
This is the second time the BJP government is facing a crisis of survival a year after the powerful Reddy brothers in the ministry revolted against Yeddyurappa and sought a change in leadership.
The brothers from the rich iron ore mining Bellary district in north Karnataka are state Infrastructure and Tourism Minister G. Janardhana Reddy and Revenue Minister G. Karunakara Reddy.
The previous political crisis was, however, defused with the intervention of the ruling party’s high command and opposition leader in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, whom the Reddy brothers consider as their ‘thaayi’ (mother).
In a related development, state Excise Minister M.P. Renukacharya announced in Chennai that he would also resign to express solidarity with the rebel legislators.
Renukacharya, who is spearheading the latest revolt against Yeddyurappa, took about 20 dissident legislators to Chennai Tuesday for consultations.
With the BJP winning majority of the by-elections that were held during the last two years, it improved its strength in the lower house to 117 from 110 in May 2008.
In the 225-member assembly, the Congress strength has been reduced to 73 as against 80 in 2008, while the JD-S retains 28 seats that it had won two years ago.

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