Bangalore, July 17 (IANS) Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Tuesday suffered a jolt as legislator Halady Srinivas Shetty quit the assembly after he was not made a minister.
My resignation has been accepted with immediate effect, Shetty, a three-time legislator form Kundapura in Udupi district, about 400 km from Bangalore, said after submitting the letter to speaker K.G. Bopaiah.
Shetty's resignation is embarrassing for the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) also though it claims that it does not interfere in BJP politics.
Shetty's supporters are blaming a RSS leader from coastal Karnataka, Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, for keeping Shetty out of the ministry.
They have been holding demonstrations in Kundapura and burning Bhat's effigy.
Shetty, however, denied he was quitting the assembly because he was not inducted into the new ministry formed by Jagadish Shettar last week.
He said he was resigning from the seat because both he and his voters have been insulted as he was called to Bangalore from Kundapura to take oath but was dropped at the last minute.
Shettar had deputed his Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar to Kundapura Monday to plead with Shetty not to quit.
Asked if will quit the party too or join other parties, Shetty said: I will not take any decision in haste. I will consult my voters and then decide.
He had said Sunday that Janata Dal-Secular state president and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy was in touch with him, apparently urging him to join the party.
The JD-S is strong only in southern parts of the state and has little presence in the rest of Karnataka.
Shettar formed BJP's third ministry in four years July 12 after D.V. Sadananda Gowda quit following a sustained campaign by BJP's first chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who was forced out of office over corruption charges.
If Shetty's resignation is accepted by the speaker, the BJP's strength in the 225-member assembly will come down to 119 from 120.
The assembly begins a short session July 19 to pass the 2012-13 budget.