High drama around resignation of Karnataka legislators

Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, Jan 23 (IANS) Karnataka Wednesday saw high drama as 13 rebel BJP legislators felt left high and dry as speaker K.G. Bopaiah was not in his office when they came to submit their resignations from the state assembly.

"We informed the speaker that we would meet him today (Wednesday) to submit our resignations. But he is not in the office and has not made any alternative arrangements," C.M. Udasi, who earlier in the day quit as public works minister, told reporters in the speaker's chamber.

Besides Udasi, the legislators included Shobha Karandlaje, who also quit earlier in the day as energy minister.

Udasi said not only the speaker, even top officials of the speaker's office were not present.

When a joint secretary came to inform the legislators that only the speaker could receive their resignations, Udasi insisted that the official "give it in writing".

The official pleaded that he cannot do that also but will get back to them after consulting his seniors.

As the drama continued, former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who is reportedly orchestrating the resignations to bring down the party's government, entered the scene and lambasted the ruling party.

He told reporters near the speaker's chamber that "this is a shameless government and should quit immediately".

"Never in the history of Karnataka has such a thing happened. The speaker had agreed to be in his office to receive the resignation letters but is not present without giving reason," he said.

Yeddyurappa, who quit the BJP and the state assembly Nov 30 to lead the Karnataka Janata Party, and his supporters in the BJP are working to prevent Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar from presenting the 2013-14 budget.

The Shettar ministry has fixed Feb 8 as budget day.

Udasi and other BJP legislators decided to wait in the speaker's office till they got a clear response on why alternative arrangements were not made to receive their resignations.