New Delhi: Bowing to
pressure from B.S. Yeddyurappa, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
has decided to replace Karnataka Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda
Gowda with Rural Development Minister Jagadish Shettar though a
formal announcement will only be made Sunday, said party sources.
Gowda, who was summoned to New Delhi, met senior party leaders
including L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Ananth
Kumar at Advani's residence.
He may meet party president Nitin Gadkari later Saturday or early
Sunday, when an announcement on the change of state government
leadership is likely to be made, said the sources.
Gadkari is expected to reach Delhi from Jabalpur late Saturday.
Gowda, who had asked the BJP central leadership not to take any
decision on removing him as chief minister in haste and contending
that he had put in his best to give a corruption-free government,
changed his line soon after arriving in Delhi and said he would go
by the party high command's decision.
"As I have said earlier, I would abide by whatever decision the
party high command would take on the leadership issue. If I am
asked to quit, I will resign and if I am asked to continue, I will
stay," he told reporters.
However Gowda reiterated the party high command should not further
delay the decision on the leadership issue as the uncertainty was
affecting the state administration at a time when many districts
across the state were reeling under drought.
"I have requested the party high command to decide on the
leadership issue at the earliest as anymore delay would affect the
smooth functioning of the government. As a disciplined member of
the party, I will act on the advice of our leaders, whatever it
may be," he said.
Speculation over the change continued during the day after the
BJP's core committee Saturday discussed the imminent change of
leadership in its Karnataka government, the second since the party
came to power in 2008.
The need for a change of leadership occurred after Yeddyurappa,
the party's first chief minister in south India, put pressure on
the party to replace Gowda, his successor, with Shettar.
Yeddyurappa had to quit as chief minister July last year after the
state Lokayukta indicted him in a mining scandal and other
Gowda was Yeddyurappa's choice then to replace him over Shettar,
whose bid for the post he had opposed since both come from the
But after the Karnataka High Court struck down the Lokayukta
report, Yeddyurappa had stepped up efforts to get back as the
chief minister, but Gowda failed to oblige him.
Last Friday, Shettar and eight other ministers submitted their
resignations from the ministry, finally forcing the party's
national leaders to agree to a leadership change.