Breaking the lull, the BS Yeddyurappa camp in ruling BJP in Karnataka today set a three-day deadline to Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda to convene the legislature party meeting, throwing up a fresh challenge to his leadership.
The decision was taken at a meeting in Bangalore today.
Briefing reporters, Public Works Minister C M Udasi, a Yeddyurappa loyalist, claimed 40 MLAs, seven MLCs and three MPs attended the breakfast meeting at his residence.
Mr Udasi said Mr Yeddyurappa and Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar, whom the rebels have projected as a successor to Mr Gowda, would soon leave for Delhi to hold talks with central leaders. He said the Yeddyurappa camp enjoyed support of 75 MLAs out of 120 in the 224-member Assembly.
The MLAs want to discuss development issues in their constituencies and also problems faced by them, Mr Udasi said.
Sources in the rebel camp say it has been decided to take the "oust Gowda" campaign this time to a logical end.
When asked what would be the group's future course of action, if the chief minister did not comply with their deadline, Mr Udasi remarked, "Let us wait for three days".
Mr Yeddyurappa, who is sulking after repeated failures to get the chief ministership back with central leadership rebuffing him, has been pushing for Mr Shettar, also a Lingayat like him, for the chief minister's post.
Mr Gowda, who cancelled his Bijapur tour today, is camping in the city in view of the developments.
Meanwhile, Mr Shettar, who is in Hubli, said he had no knowledge about the meeting of MLAs in Bangalore, but declared he would abide by the decision of the central leadership.
Mr Yeddyurappa and his loyalists kept a low profile since last month after the BJP National Executive was held in Mumbai hoping that the party central leadership would concede their demand for a change in Mr Gowda's leadership.
With BJP central leadership maintaining silence, the rebels renewed the activities today.
Mr Yeddyurappa has been batting for Mr Shettar after the party leaders told him in no uncertain terms that he should be cleared of corruption cases against him to win back the chief ministership.