DV Sadananda Gowda remained the clear favourite to become the next Chief Minister of Karnataka on the eve of the BJP Legislature Party meeting. The Yeddyurappa faction and the one opposed to him were reaching out to supporters to shore up their base with both groups claiming majority support.
Yeddyurappa, who is now the caretaker chief minister, declared that he has no intentions of becoming a ‘super CM’. These aspersions were raised by the rival camp as Sadananda Gowda is a Yeddyurappa nominee.
Central observers Arun Jaitley will be visiting Bangalore late on Tuesday night to ensure a smooth changeover. Jaitley and Rajnath Singh who were in Bangalore last week have spoken to over 100 BJP MLAs from Karnataka and there is a likelihood majority favours Sadananda Gowda.
Such a move would be a major setback for the Ananth Kumar faction which is pressing for the selection of Jagadish Shettar as the new chief minister.
Ananth Kumar, who has been a long-time rival of Yeddyurappa wants to ensure that the influence of the former chief minister is minimised.
The selection of Shettar would reduce the influence Yeddyurappa holds over Lingayat community to which both belong. According to sources in the state BJP, Ananth Kumar is placing in a lot of hurdles, complicating the matters for the BJP in Karnataka.
BJP is very keen to ensure that there is consensus over the selection of the new chief minister and want the legislature party meeting to be a formality. This has, however, become a tougher task than what was imagined as rival factions were quite adamant on their demands. Despite submitting his resignation, Yeddyurappa seems to hold a few aces and kept his support base intact.
Yeddyurappa’s rivals, on the other hand, are trying to take the moral high ground and want to disassociate with the various scams surrounding his regime. If the situation becomes difficult in selecting the new chief minister, then the BJP Central leadership may dangle the carrot of deputy chief minister’s post as a solace to the faction that loses out.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa again went back to his favourite strategy of seeking support of the Lingayat community religious head as he visited the influential Siddaganga Mutt in Tumkur. Economic Times