Former BJP Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa Saturday asserted that around 10 BJP ministers and 50 legislators in the state were with him.
His claim came just hours after BJP struck at two of his supporters in the party. Cooperation minister B.J. Puttaswamy was sacked from the cabinet while G.S. Basavaraj, Lok Sabha member from Tumkur, about 70km from Bangalore, was suspended from the party.
"The BJP should realise that it is running a coalition government (in Karnataka) with my supporters. Around 10 (BJP) ministers and 50 legislators are my supporters," he said in this north Karnataka town, about 350 km from Bangalore.
The BJP has 118 members in the 225-member assembly and 44 in the 75-member legislative council.
Yeddyurappa, who quit BJP Nov 30, is taking over as president of Karnataka Janata Party at a public meeting here Sunday.
He said Saturday's action against his two supporters meant the fall of the BJP government, headed by Jagadish Shettar, is near.
Meanwhile Karnataka Governor H. R. Bhardwaj accepted Shettar's recommendation to drop Puttaswamy from the cabinet, a Raj Bhavan communique said in Bangalore.