Two BJP ministers quit Karnataka cabinet

Indo Asian News Service

Bangalore, Jan 23 (IANS) Public Works Minister C.M. Udasi and Energy Minister Shobha Karandlaje, loyalists of former BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, Wednesday quit Karnataka cabinet as part of rebels' plan to prevent Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar from presenting budget Feb 8.

Shettar told reporters that he has received the resignation letters of Udasi and Karandlaje and will consider it.

Soon after receiving the two letters, Shettar left for a two-day tour of northern Karnataka.

Udasi told reporters that he, Karandlaje and over 10 other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) assembly members will quit the assembly also later Wednesday.

He said all of them will join the Karnataka Janata Party headed by Yeddyurappa to strengthen it ahead of the assembly elections due in May.

Yeddyurappa, BJP's first chief minister in the state, quit the party and the assembly Nov 30 to lead KJP as he was not made state BJP chief. He was forced out of chief minister's post in July 2011 over mining bribery charges.

Shettar, who became chief minister in July last year to head BJP's third government in over four years, also holds the finance portfolio.

He is scheduled to present the 2013-14 budget Feb 8, for which the legislature session has been convened from Feb 4 to Feb 13.