BJP cracks down on BSY’s loyalists

FP

A day ahead of the launch of a new political party in Karnataka by former BJP chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP on Saturday sent out a signal that it would deal strongly with party members who chose to ally with the new party by sacking Yeddyurappa loyalist B J Puttaswamy, the co-operatives minister, from the cabinet.

The sacking of Puttaswamy, a Vokkaliga, who became a member of the legislative council and the cabinet only on the basis of his association with Yeddyurappa, was carried out after the chief minister wrote to Governor H R Bharadwaj about the removal of Puttaswamy.

The BJP has also announced the suspension of G S Basavaraj, a member of Parliament who is among 12 MPs (out of the 19 BJP MPs) identified with the KJP at present. The BJP had last month also suspended close Yeddyurappa aide and former minister Dhananjay Kumar from the party.

The removal of Puttaswamy and suspension of Basavaraj came even as Yeddyurappa issued a fresh warning of the collapse of the Shettar government in the event of the BJP dealing strongly with his supporters who are in a sizable number both in the cabinet and the legislative assembly.

"I will give a befitting reply if they take action against my supporters. Ministers, MLAs and MPs are keen to be a part of the KJP rally on Sunday even though I have told them not to attend," Yeddyurappa said in the north Karnataka town of Haveri where the KJP will be formally launched.

"If they create a situation where the government falls, I am not responsible," the former chief minister said in the latest in a series of warnings he has issued in last 15 days.

However, despite open association with the KJP the BJP has so far not acted against several north Karnataka legislators who belong to the dominant Lingayat caste to which both Yeddyurappa and Shettar belong and which is seen as the vote base of the BJP.

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