Jaitley, Rajnath in Bangalore to seal the deal

Gowda to submit resignation today

Jaitley, Rajnath in Bangalore to seal the deal

After completing the daunting task of replacing a Vokkaliga chief minister with a Lingayat, senior BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh on Monday began consultation with state leaders on the creation of the post of deputy chief minister, allocation of cabinet berths and key ministries.

Jaitley and Singh, appointed observers for the election of the new leader at the BJP Legislature Party (BJPLP) scheduled for Tuesday, began meeting the State top brass and legislators soon after their arrival in Bangalore on Monday evening. Aspirants to the post of deputy chief minister as well as cabinet berths thronged the hotel where the central leaders camped.

The duo met Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda, his successor Jagadish Shettar, party state unit president K S Eshwarappa, B S Yeddyurappa and his loyalists. The consultation will continue on Tuesday morning.

Jaitley and Singh have a tough task ahead of them as not only the demands of various groups have to be considered, but also the caste and regional considerations finetuned to strike a balance between the loyalists of Yeddyurappa and others sections in the party.

The removal of Sadananda Gowda as chief minister has upset the powerful Vokkaliga community. The community members have staged protests across the State. But Gowda did not join the issue, despite three Vokkaliga MLAs belonging to the BJP threatening to resign.  

There are at least three aspirants to the post of deputy chief minister. They are: R Ashoka, reportedly enjoying the support of MP H N Ananth Kumar, Govind Karjol, propped up by the Gowda camp, and Eshwarappa.

Those eager on seeing Eshwarappa as deputy chief minister found it tough to convince the central leaders as to why he should be removed as party president at this juncture. If the post of state unit president falls vacant by making him deputy to Shettar, it is likely that Yeddyurappa may stake his claim. That, apparently, is not palatable to the central leaders. Hence, the party central leadership may find itself in a dilemma.

Moreover, Yeddyurappa and Gowda camps have staked claims to the deputy chief minister post.
The BJPLP will meet in Bangalore on Tuesday morning to formally elect Shettar its leader. The time of the meeting was not decided till late in the evening, though the MLAs have been instructed to be in the capital by 10 am.

A one-line resolution will be passed at the BJPLP declaring Shettar its new leader. Later, Sadananda Gowda will meet Governor H R Bhardwaj at Raj Bhavan and submit his resignation as chief minister. Shettar is expected to accompany Gowda along with a copy of the BJPLP resolution and stake claim to form the government.

Shettar will be sworn in as the State’s 21st chief minister on Wednesday. As many as 25 to 30 ministers will be sworn in along with Shettar, sources said. Many names as possible ministers have begun making the rounds though the party has not yet finalised anything. The party has to immediately form the ministerial team as the legislature session is going to commence on July 16.

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