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Congress hand in ministers' resignation: Shettar

Posted on Feb 22, 08:57PM | IANS

Hubli (Karnataka), Feb 22 : Rattled by a spate of resignations of ministers and legislators from Karnataka's ruling BJP, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar Friday said Congress was behind the development as it wanted to pull down his government.

"Congress is scared that it will be defeated in the coming polls (local body and assembly) and hence is engineering the resignations," Shettar told reporters a day after two more ministers quit his cabinet.

The Congress "is weak in the state and lacks leadership. It hopes that if it brings down my government, it will become strong," he said in his home town in north Karnataka, about 400 km from Bangalore.

Elections to 208 urban local bodies are scheduled for March 7 while polls to assembly are due in May.

On Thursday, Forest Minister C. P. Yogeshwar and Small Scale Industries Minister Narasimha Nayak, also known as Raju Gouda, submitted resignations to Shettar. They are keen to join Congress.

State Congress leaders have been saying that about 20 Bharatiya Janata Party legislators, including several ministers, have approached them seeking admission to the party.

Shettar said he was confident that Congress tactics would not succeed and BJP would emerge victorious in both the polls.

With the resignation of Yogeshwar and Nayak, five ministers have quit his cabinet in the last one month. The three others - C.M. Udasi, Shobha Karandlaje and Sunil Valyapure resigned last month and joined Karnataka Janata Party led by former BJP chief minister B. S. Yeddyurappa.

In the last one month, 12 BJP assembly members have also quit the house and the party while the resignations of two are pending with Speaker K.G. Bopaiah.