Several ministers backing Shettar

Several ministers backing Shettar

They want Yeddyurappa to be replaced as CM

Transport Minister R Ashok sprang a surprise on Tuesday evening by apparently switching his loyalty to Shettar.

Ashok, who was once considered a trusted aide of Yeddyurappa, met Shettar. He is learnt to have discussed with the Speaker about the need for leadership change in the State. He was followed by Energy Minister K S Eshwarappa, who had many times in the past expressed unhappiness over the style of functioning of Yeddyurappa. These leaders want Shettar, also a Lingayat, to lead them and replace Yeddyurappa, sources said. Surprisingly, Law Minister S Suresh Kumar too met the Speaker separately.

However, Ashok said there is no need to attach much importance to the meeting.
Sources said Ashok wanted to project himself as a Vokkaliga leader in the BJP. But the CM was propping up Shobha Karadlaje, also a Vokkaliga. Besides, Ashok is being blamed for the defeat of former minister V Somanna in the recent by-polls in Govindarajanagar constituency. Ashok has not taken kindly these developments and has not gone to the CM's home office, Krishna, for nearly a month, the sources said.

Ministers Eshwarappa, Balachandra Jharkiholi and Anand Asnotikar and MLAs A Ramdas, C T Ravi and Narayanaswamy had their lunch with Shettar at his residence.

Speaking to reporters, Shettar said: "It is true there has been pressure on me to take up the leadership. But being the Speaker, it is not proper on my part to speak about politics. So, I have neither said no nor yes to their requests."

It is learnt that Shettar is hosting a lunch to around 30 MLAs at his residence on October 29. Before that, he is scheduled to meet two powerful Lingayat seers -- Sri Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami of Suttur and Sri Shivakumara Swami of Siddaganga -- on Wednesday. Shettar would take a decision either on October 29 or 30, the sources said.
Besides, MLAs Renukacharya and Belur Gopalakrishna also met Shettar separately. "We did not discuss politics with Shettar. He is a senior leader and we keep meeting him," they said.

The sources said all those who either opposed or disliked Yeddyurappa's leadership are joining together and supporting Shettar to take up the leadership. Bellary Reddy brothers too want Shettar to be their new leader, sources added.