Karnataka BJP minister quits

August 24th, 2008 - 11:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, Aug 24 (IANS) Karnataka Horticulture Minister S.K. Bellubbi Sunday resigned from the ministry to make way for a new entrant in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from opposition Janata Dal-Secular.Umesh Katti, who last week quit JD-S and the state assembly, is likely to be inducted in the cabinet by Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, a senior BJP leader said requesting anonymity.

“Bellubbi sent in his resignation around 6.30 p.m.,” a spokesperson of the chief minister told IANS.

The BJP, which came to power in the state for the first time with the help of six independent lawmakers, has been wooing opposition legislators to strengthen its hold on power.

“Bellubbi has resigned on his own in the interests of the party and has not been forced to do so,” state BJP chief D.V. Sadananda Gowda told reporters.

“Bellubbi will be given a suitable position for his sacrifice,” he said.

However, Bellubbi supporters in his home town of Kolhar in north Karnataka’s Bijapur district staged demonstrations following the resignation and demanded their leader be retained in the ministry.

Five of his supporters consumed poison and have been admitted to a hospital. “They are out of danger,” the police said in Bijou.

The BJP has 110 members in the 225-member house. It formed the government with the help of six Independent members, five of whom have been made cabinet ministers.

So far, four JD-S and three Congress legislators have joined the BJP after quitting their assembly seats.

Of these, two from the JD-S and one from the Congress have been rewarded with cabinet posts.

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