Haveri: Opening a new chapter in Karnataka politics, former Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa
on Sunday formally launched Karnataka Janata Party (KJP) and took over as its President at a massive rally here in North Karnataka.
    
In a potential sign of trouble for the BJP government in the state, at least 10 ruling party MLAs attended the rally ignoring the party warnings to legislators and other leaders to keep away from it.
    
Prior to the launch, Yeddyurappa also hosted a breakfast meeting which was attended by at least 21 BJP MLAs, seven MLCs and four Lok Sabha MPs.
    
Ahead of the launch of KJP, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar had on Saturday cracked the whip sacking Cooperative Minister B J Puttaswamy, a loyalist of Yeddyurappa, from the cabinet with BJP also suspending another staunch supporter and Tumkur MP G S Basavaraj from the party. Both were issued show cause notices.
    
Talking to reporters before the rally, Yeddyurappa dared the BJP leadership to dissolve the assembly and go before the people.
    
Yeddyurappa said BJP should understand that the Shettar government survived on the support of his loyalists.
    
"If they (BJP) want the continuance of this government, which is nothing but a KJP-BJP coalition, they should desist from taking any disciplinary action against my supporters," he said.

The action against Yeddyurappa's supporters on Saturday came a day after 23 legislators and seven ministers attended the breakfast meet hosted by him in Belgaum, in an expression of solidarity with the Lingayat strongman who quit the BJP on November 30, snapping his 40-year-association with the party.

(Agencies)

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