Yeddy-loyalist minister sacked in Karnataka, MP suspended

Cracking the whip against B S Yeddyurappa loyalists in BJP and in the party-led government in Karnataka, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar today sacked Cooperative Minister B J Puttaswamy, a loyalist of the former Chief Minister, from the cabinet.

Ahead of the launch of Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), state BJP also suspended his staunch supporter and Tumkur MP G S Basavaraj from the party and issued show cause notices to both Puttaswamy and Basavaraj.

"As a disciplinary measure, Puttaswamy has been dropped from the cabinet. He participated in so many meetings of the new party and campaigned for the new party. So, it is indiscipline in the party's view. Have already sent the letter to the Governor to drop him from the cabinet," Shettar told reporters here.

Party state unit President and Deputy Chief Minister Easwarappa announced the decision to suspend Basavaraj from the party.

"In Karnataka, we are giving importance to discipline. One Lok Sabha member from Tumkur, Basavaraj... he is violating the party discipline. We all the core leaders from Karnataka sat with the national leaders and we have taken the decision to suspend Basavaraj," Easwarappa said.

The decision came a day after about 23 legislators and 7 ministers attended the breakfast meet hosted by Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP recently, in solidarity with him. Ministers C M Udasi, Murugesh Nirani, M P Renukacharya, V Somanna, B J Puttaswamy, Shobha Karandlaje and Umesh Katti and about two dozen legislators were present at the meeting held at Belgaum.

Shettar and Easwarappa, who met senior BJP leaders including President Nitin Gadkari, also warned of strong action against Yeddyurappa's other loyalists. Former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda and party's national leader Ananth Kumar were also present in the meeting.

"Anybody wants to go to KJP. Yeddyurappaji has taken the decision. He has already given resignation from BJP and also from the state legislature. His followers also should do the same thing. Otherwise, we will take the disciplinary action," he said.

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