Bangalore: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) central leadership will hope for stability in its first government in South India after it replaced Sadananda Gowda with Jagadish Shettar as Karnataka Chief Minister.
The ball will be set rolling on Tuesday when BJP legislators will meet in Bangalore to elect Shettar as their new leader. The Lingayat leader from north Karnataka will be party`s third Chief Minister in the state in four years.
The BJP legislature party is scheduled to meet today. Shettar is expected to be unanimously elected as the new leader through a resolution in presence of central observers Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley.
Hectic parleys were held throughout yesterday in the party state unit, with ministers, lawmakers and cadres discussing the formation of the new government, including cabinet representations.
Outgoing Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda is likely call on Governor HR Bhardwaj early today at Raj Bhavan to submit his resignation and proceed to a hotel in the city centre for the legislature party meeting. His resignation comes after BJP president Nitin Gadkari announced in New Delhi Sunday that Shettar would replace Gowda as CM.
After the Legislature party meeting, Shettar will meet the Governor and stake claim to form the government with the resolution from the party state unit president (KS Eshwarappa) appointing him the Leader of The house (Assembly), a party spokesman was quoted as saying.
On receiving the Governor`s letter inviting him to form the government, Shettar will decide ont he oath-taking ceremony in consultation with the party leaders.
In a related development, hundreds of Vokkaligas community members, including lawmakers and cadres across parties, yesterday protested against the ouster of Gowda, allegedly on caste considerations.
Heads of social and religious organisations belonging to the Vokkaliga community joined rallies and held demonstrations across Bangalore, Mandya and Mysore, criticising the BJP for playing caste politics and succumbing to the pressures of the rival Lingayat community to replace Gowda with Shettar as its third Chief Minister in the state.
Though Lingayats are a dominant community in the state constituting around 17 percent of the 65 million people across the state, Vokkaligas are also an equally powerful caste group accounting for 16 percent of the population
Bowing to the mounting pressure of former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and his supporters for a change in the party leadership, the BJP high command decided to replace Gowda with Shettar with an eye on the next assembly elections due in April-May 2013.
Gowda became the ruling party second Chief Minister August 4, 2011 after scam-hit Yeddyurappa resigned July 31 following his indictment by then Karnataka Lokayukta (ombudsman) Justice (retired) N. Santosh Hegde on bribery charge in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the state.
With IANS inputs