Karnataka BJP problems mount as legislator quits

Basvakalyan (Karnataka), Dec 28 (IANS) Karnataka's ruling BJP Friday suffered another jolt as a legislator loyal to its former leader B.S. Yeddyurappa, quit the party and assembly, bringing down the party's strength in the 225-member assembly to 117.

The legislator, Basavaraj Patil Attur, announced his decision in this north Karnataka town, his assembly constituency, about 750 km from Bangalore, in the presence of Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP Nov 30 to lead Karnataka Janata Party (KJP).

"I will fax my resignation letter to Speaker K. G. Bopaiah today (Friday) and meet him January 5," Attur told reporters.

Yeddyurappa said Attur would be KJP candidate in Basavakalyan in the assembly elections due May next.

Attur's move came two days after Yeddyurappa announced in Bangalore that KJP leaders would meet Jan 4 to decide whether his supporters in Bharatiya Janata Party should quit to bring down the Jagadish Shettar government.

BJP's 14 other assembly members had shared the dais with Yeddyurappa Dec 9 when he took over as KJP president at a public rally. However they have not yet quit the party.

BJP has also not acted against them, though it has been saying it would, as that would lead to the fall of the Shettar government, the party's third in over four years.

Shettar and other state BJP leaders have dismissed Yeddyurappa's frequent threats to pull down the government and are challenging him to do so.

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