BJP keeping close watch on Karnataka developments

New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The BJP Monday said it was keeping a close eye on developments in Karnataka as its state leaders dared former chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa to topple the Jagadish Shettar government.

Asked about Karnataka, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the party was keeping "an eye on the entire political developments in Karnataka".

Asked about remarks of Congress leaders that the chief minister should resign, Prasad said the floor of assembly was the forum to test the strength of the government.

BJP sources said the party was weighing its options in the southern state where it had formed a government for the first time in 2008.

They said with about four months left for the state assembly elections, the party was mulling its options.

"Some other parties are not in favour of immediate dissolution of the assembly. We have to take a decision keeping in mind the party's short- and long-term interests," a BJP leader told IANS.

He said most of the legislators who had shared dias with Yeddyurappa, as the former chief minister formally launched the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) after leaving the BJP, were those who would have been denied tickets.

However, he admitted that the decision of Yedyurappa to float a new party had aggravated challenges for the party.

Yeddyurappa Sunday challenged Shettar to prove majority as 13 to 15 BJP assembly members out of the 118 in the 225-member assembly had shared the dais with him at a function to formally launch his party.

Both Shettar and state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa, who is also deputy chief minister, ruled out resignation of the ministry or early dissolution of the assembly in view of these party legislators associating with Yeddyurappa.

The chief minister maintained that he has the numbers with him and hence there was no need to quit.

Asked what action the BJP planned against the rebel legislators, Shettar said the party would take a decision on Wednesday.

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