Bangalore, May 12 (IANS) A day after the Supreme Court directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe corruption charges against B.S. Yeddyurappa, the former Karnataka chief minister secured the resignation of seven ministers loyal to him, his close associate said late Saturday.
The ministers are Shobha Karandlaje (power), Basavraj Bommai (water resources), Umesh Katti (agriculture), C. M. Udasi (public works department), M.P. Renukacharya (excise), Murgesh Nirani (industries) and V.Somanna (housing), the associate told IANS requesting anonymity.
He said the ministers gave the resignation letters to Yeddyurappa late Saturday. They have left it to him to decide whether and when to send the letters to either Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda or the party national leaders.
The associate claimed that at least two more ministers and around 12 legislators might also give their resignation letters to Yeddyurappa in a day or two.
The apparent muscle flexing by Yeddyurappa and his supporters comes as Gowda is visiting New Delhi Sunday for talks with party leaders on his demand for permission to reshuffle his ministry.
The ministry has 11 vacancies forcing Gowda to handle over 20 departments. The state can have 34 ministers, including the chief minister.
Though Gowda had been seeking permission not only to fill the vacancies but to drop some ministers as well, he had been told to wait till the apex court decides whether to order CBI probe against Yeddyurappa.
Incidentally Gowda and state BJP chief K.S. Eshwarappa had in March written to party president Nitin Gadkari that these seven ministers were indulging in anti-party activity and their continuance in the ministry was harmful to the party.
Yeddyurappa and his supporters have been demanding his re-instatement but their plans have gone awry with the apex court ordering the CBI probe against him.