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Puttaswamy sacked, Basavaraj suspended

New Delhi, Dec 8, 2012, DHNS 1:20 IST

BJP says it is ready to sacrifice govt

B.J. Puttaswamy with B.S. Yeddyurappa. File Photo
A day before former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa’s public rally at Haveri, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday cracked the whip against his loyalists and sacked Karnataka minister B J Puttaswamy and suspended party MP G S Basavaraj.

The party said that it was prepared to sacrifice the State government to maintain discipline. The decision to sack the two was taken after a marathon meeting chaired by party national president Nitin Gadkari on Friday night and another by party State unit president and Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa on Saturday morning. “This is a beginning.

If any leaders attend the Karnataka Janata Party rally at Haveri, more action will follow,” Eshwarappa said. The party is ready to sacrifice the government for discipline. If any leader wants to go the Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) meeting, they can go after resigning the BJP. If they attend the rally by staying in the BJP, we will take action, he said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj has accepted the recommendation of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to drop Cooperation Minister B J Puttaswamy from the Cabinet. A communique from Raj Bhavan stated, “The governor has accepted the recommendation of the chief minister and has dropped B J Puttaswamy from the council of ministers.”

The party will issue show-cause notices to both leaders seeking their explanations about anti-party activities, Eshwarappa told reporters in New Delhi. This has been done to send a strong signal to loyalists of the Lingayat leader that the party will not tolerate any indiscipline.

However, the central leadership seems to be guarded in taking action against loyalists of Yeddyurappa in order to save the government. Initially party high command was keen to take action against many loyalists of Yeddyurappa but backed off following request from some state leaders.

One section of the party was in favour of sacking all loyalists of Yeddyurappa and seeking dissolution of the Assembly immediately but the other section wants to wait and watch and not take any hasty decision. The leaders opposing action against all loyalists argued that in view of the forthcoming elections it was better to have the BJP government in power, rather than President’s rule.

As the marathon meeting failed to take a final decision on this issue even after it continued past 2:30 am on Saturday, the central leaders suggested to the state leaders to decide what action should be taken against whom.

Following this, the state leaders held another meeting on Saturday morning which was attended by Jagadish Shettar, Eshwarappa, general secretary Ananth Kumar, MPs Nalin Kumar Kateel, Prahalad Joshi and former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda.

Emerging out the meeting, Shettar told reporters here: “As a disciplinary measure, Puttaswamy has been dropped from the cabinet. He participated in so many meetings of the new party (KJP) and campaigned for the new party. It is indiscipline in the party's view. I have already sent a letter to the governor to drop him from the cabinet".

Eshwarappa announced the decision to suspend Basavaraj from the party. As Basavaraj is an MP, the state unit has recommended his suspension to the central leaders and they will suspend him formally after the BJP parliamentary party approves it.

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