Former Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa on Sunday stepped up heat on the BJP leadership by setting a July five deadline for removing Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda and replacing him with his nominee Jagadish Shettar.
In a show of strength, Yeddyurappa loyalist Jagadish Shettar on Sunday released a list of 52 supporting MLAs.
The Chief Minister will head for Delhi for a meeting with the BJP president Nitin Gadkari and other top leaders.
Stepping up the heat two days after after nine ministers, loyal to former chief minister Yeddyurappa, quit the Karnataka cabinet, his camp released a list of 52 MLAs who attended Sunday's meeting held at the residence of Shettar and rallied behind him in a show of strength.
Eight Lok Sabha members from the state and at least 15 MLCs also attended the meeting, Raju Gowda, who was among the ministers who resigned, told reporters.
"We have unanimously decided to appeal to the high-command to make Shettar the Chief inister," he said.
"We are confident that a good decision will come by July five. If it does not come (by then), we will meet and take an important decision on July five", he added.
Those attending the meeting authorised Yeddyurappa and Shettar to take a decision on political developments, saying they will abide by it.
They appealed to the party high-command to call the Legislature Party meeting. Raju Gowda said if it was not done, legislators loyal to Yeddyurappa themselves would convene one.
BJP has sent Dharmendra Pradhan as its emissary here in a bid to mollify the rebels.
For the BJP central leadership, the power struggle in Karnataka has become a big embarrassment. Every time Yeddyurappa has upped the ante, efforts have been made to pacify him but this period is shortlived.
In the 225-member Karnataka Assembly, BJP has a total strength of 120 and Yeddyurappa has been claiming the backing of around 70 MLAs.
Notwithstanding the muscle-flexing by the rebels, BJP