Hubli, Dec 9: The BJP ministry in Karnataka was in serious trouble late Saturday as one minister loyal to the party's former leader B. S. Yeddyurappa said he had quit the cabinet and a few other ministers said they were ready to do so.
Infrastructure Development minister Sunil Valyapure told reporters in this north Karnataka town that he has faxed his resignation to chief minister Jagadish Shettar as he wants to attend a rally Sunday at which Yeddyurappa will formally launch his regional party. Hubli is about 370km from Bangalore.
Agriculture minister Umesh Katti said in Davangere in central Karnataka, about 270km from Bangalore, that he and other ministers supporting Yeddyurappa will meet Shettar Monday to protest Saturday's disciplinary action against two other followers of the former BJP chief minister.
He said ministers backing Yeddyurappa were ready to quit if the party continued with such steps.
Valyapure's announcement about his resignation and Katti's threat came hours after BJP sacked cooperation minister B. J. Puttaswamy from the Shettar cabinet and suspended Lok Sabha member G. S. Basavaraj from the party for openly working for Yeddyurappa's new regional outfit - Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).
Valyapure said he will attend the Sunday rally at Haveri, about 350km north of Bangalore, at which Yeddyurappa will take over as KJP president.
Katti and two other ministers, C. M Udasi, public works, and M. P. Renukacharya, excise, however, gave no indication whether they will attend Sunday's rally at Haveri.
Udasi, who hails from Haveri, said in Davangere that Yeddyurappa has asked ministers and BJP legislators supporting him not to attend the rally.
"Yeddyurappa has said that this government is formed by us and it should complete the term (assembly's term expires May next). Hence the question whether I will attend (the Haveri rally) or not does not arise," he told reporters.
Renukacharya also said that he has no invitation to attend the Haveri rally and he intended to stay on in the Shettar ministry till it completes the term.