The crisis for the BJP government in Karnataka has deepened with the Governor accepting the resignation of two ministers today.
But the party denied that the government was in trouble. "I have talked to Chief Minister (Jagadish Shettar) today. I am confident, there is no threat to our government in Karnataka. There is no crisis there," BJP President Rajnath Singh said.
Minister for Public Works CM Udasi and Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje are expected to join the new party founded by BS Yeddyurappa, who exited the BJP in December after 40 years.
There are 11 other state legislators from the BJP who say they want to quit the government. If 18 resign, the government will be in a minority. They were set to resign earlier this week, but the Speaker of the Assembly, KG Bopaiah, is not in town. They then submitted their resignations in writing to the Governor, HR Bhardwaj.
He indicated today that he may ask Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to prove his majority.
"In the meantime, I have dictated my orders that this is a split in the political party of the BJP. So you study the relative strength of the party in the assembly. But assembly records were not with me. Therefore, I summoned the records. So I will see what is the strength," the Governor said.
Mr Yeddyurappa threatens to bring down the BJP's first government in South India since last year, when he accused his party of reneging on a promise to give him a powerful position. He was forced to resign as chief minister after he was indicted for corruption in a report on illegal mining. The party tried to assuage him by allowing him to pick his replacement, not once but twice. In both cases, Mr Yeddyurappa turned against his successors. He has vowed to defeat the BJP in the state elections next year with his Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).