Bangalore, June 29 (IANS) In fresh trouble for Karnataka's BJP government, eight ministers loyal to former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa quit the ministry Friday to pressure the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership to remove Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda.
"We waited all these days for decision of our high command. We cannot wait any longer. Hence we have submitted our resignation," Public Works Ministers C.M. Udasi told reporters after the eight met Gowda and gave the letters.
They had taken the resignations of two more ministers but Gowda declined to receive them saying the ministers will have to personally hand them over to him.
All the ministers are loyal to former scam-hit chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa who has been relentlessly campaigning for the last few months for unseating Gowda, who he had handpicked last July to succeed him.
The ministers are Jagadish Shettar (rural development), C. M. Udasi (public works), Murugesh Nirani (industries), V. Somanna (housing), Umesh Katti (agriculture), Basavaraj Bommai (water resources), Revu Naik Belamagi (libraries and animal husbandry) and M.P. Renukacharya (excise).
Two more Yeddyurappa loyalist ministers, Shobha Karandlaje (power) and Raju Gowda (small scale industries), are also expected to meet Gowda later and submit their resignations.
Yeddyurappa and his group are pushing for Jagadish Shettar to replace Gowda. This strategy was adopted after Yeddyurappa failed to convince BJP national leaders to again make him chief minister, in spite of around a dozen corruption and illegal cases against him in Karnataka courts.
He lost all hope after the Central Bureau of Investigation started probe into mining bribery charges against him on the direction of the Supreme Court.
BJP sources said Gowda will seek the party national leaders' advice on whether to accept the resignations or not.
Udasi justified the move to quit the ministry saying "for several months there were differences between chief minister and several ministers. Since there was no resolution of this issue, we have quit."
He said the group was hopeful that the party leaders will accede to its demand for leadership change in the state.
The BJP came to power for the first time in Karnataka in May 2008 with Yeddyurappa as chief minister. He quit July last year over mining bribery charges and Gowda took over Aug 4.
The four-year BJP rule has been marred by scams and dissidence. Around 20 of the 120 BJP law makers, including Yeddyurappa, are fighting corruption and illegal land deal cases.
Assembly elections are due May next year. There is speculation that it may be advanced to December this year in view of the unending problems faced by the ruling BJP.