A day ahead of the formal launch of his new party Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa claims that he has the support of around 10 BJP ministers and 50 legislators in the state.
His claim came just hours after BJP struck at two of his supporters in the party. Cooperation minister BJ Puttaswamy was sacked from the cabinet while GS Basavaraj, Lok Sabha member from Tumkur, about 70km from Bangalore, was suspended from the party.
"The BJP should realise that it is running a coalition government (in Karnataka) with my supporters. Around 10 (BJP) ministers and 50 legislators are my supporters," he said in Haveri, a town in north Karnataka, about 350 km from Bangalore.
The BJP has 118 members in the 225-member assembly and 44 in the 75-member legislative council.
Mr Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP November 30, is taking over as president of KJP at a public meeting on Sunday.
He said the action against his two supporters meant the fall of the BJP government, headed by Jagadish Shettar, is near.
Meanwhile Karnataka Governor HR Bhardwaj accepted Mr Shettar's recommendation to drop Puttaswamy from the cabinet, a Raj Bhavan communique said in Bangalore.