Bangalore: With Karnataka BJP strongman and foe-turned-friend B S Yeddyurappa on his side and the caste factor working in his favour, 56-year-old Jagadish Shivappa Shettar had things going for him this time, particularly when Assembly elections are less than a year away.
The scene today is in sharp contrast to the one seen in August last year when Yeddyurappa, not in a position to digest the rise of another leader from Lingayat community to which he also belongs, backed D V Sadananda Gowda, a Vokkaliga.
Eleven months later, it was role reversal of sorts as it were as the powerful Yeddyurappa faction wanted Gowda to go, after things did not go as they planned and the incumbent Chief Minister chose to come out of their shadow.
Shettar lost to Gowda in the election at the legislature party meeting last year and ironically, the latter today had to pave the way for him to step into his shoes.
The BJP central leadership appeared to have been convinced by Yeddyurappa camp`s contention that the party needs to fight the Assembly election, due in May next year, under a Lingayat leader, clinching the issue in favour of Shettar.
BJP counts Lingayats, a majority community, as its main vote bank and Shettar also hails from north Karnataka, a region that the party considers its stronghold. Both the factors did the trick for Shettar.