Gowda makes way for Shettar quietly

A day after keeping the party high command and his detractors on tenterhooks over the change of guard, D V Sadananda Gowda, on Wednesday, quietly stepped aside and paved the way for chief minister-designate Jagadish Shettar to form a new government.

Gowda appeared to have completely mellowed after a bout of rebellion against the party high command over a set of his demands. Accompanied by some of his Cabinet colleagues, he garlanded the statues of Basaveshwara (near Chalukya Circle), Kengal Hanumanthaiah, Devaraja Urs and B R Ambedkar (all in the Vidhana Soudha premises) before driving to Raj Bhavan to submit the resignation letter to the governor.

Within a few minutes of Gowda entering Raj Bhavan, Shettar, along with Yeddyurappa and party general secretary Ananth Kumar, also arrived and staked the claim to form the new government. Shettar was also accompanied by ministers who were loyal to Yeddyurappa.

Gowda had planned to take out a ‘padayatra’ from his official residence Anugraha up to Raj Bhavan, like his predecessor Yeddyurappa had done before quitting as the chief minister. But he dropped the plan at the last minute as some of his colleagues advised him against it.

Gowda lending support to the agitation, which was staged for the last two days, and also addressing the media along with a seer of the Vokkaliga community, has not gone down well with the party. He was told to behave like a swayamsevak rather than a representative of the Vokkaligas.

Unlike Yeddyurappa, who was accompanied by about 65 MLAs and several MLCs to Raj Bhavan, only about half a dozen Cabinet colleagues and an equal number of party MLAs were with Gowda when he left for Raj Bhavan to hand over his resignation letter to the governor.

However, members of Vokkaligara Sangha staged a protest, demanding that Gowda should not resign as the chief minister. They refused to allow Gowda to leave his official residence and blocked his way by lying down in front of his car.

Gowda, however, managed to convince them to clear the way.

“I have communicated your feelings to the high command, and I am hopeful that it will take an appropriate decision soon. It is not proper to block the way like this,” he told the protesters.

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