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Set against BSY, BJP wants Gowda-Shettar combo

Mangalore Today News Network

DVS-ShettarBangalore, August 1, 2011: In an attempt to arrive at a consensus on a successor to B S Yeddyurappa, the BJP central leadership is said to be working on a formula to make party leaders D V Sadananda Gowda chief minister and Jagdish Shettar his deputy.

K S Eshwarappa will continue as party state unit president and outgoing Yeddyurappa will not get any post, at least for now, highly placed sources in the party have indicated.

If the formula is resisted by either of the two powerful factions headed by Yeddyurappa and Ananth Kumar, the party leadership reserves the option of allowing voting, but that possibility may be remote, as all efforts are being made to find a consensus.

In inner-party confabulations on Monday, a section of the central leadership is understood to have pitched strongly in favour of Shettar, arguing that in the interest of long-term prospects of the party, a candidate backed by a tainted Yeddyurappa should not be selected.

The majority view prevailing in the party leadership is that the party brass may not be in a position to prevent the election/selection of Sadanand Gowda, the chosen candidate of Yeddyurappa and his camp, if the numbers are in his favour. Sources in the leadership say  the pro-Yeddyurappa camp has a majority of party MLAs.

Over the last two days, Shettar and Eshwarappa emerged as the rival candidates to Gowda, but with Eshwarappa withdrawing from the scene, it is now a direct race between Lingayat leader from north Karnataka and the Udupi-Chikmagalur MP.

“How can we be against either of the two? Gowda is one of the most decent politicians coming from Karnataka, while Shettar is a very disciplined party leader. Both have long history in the party,” a senior leader said.

Affirming that the party would try for a consensus, he said: “It may be difficult to prevent Gowda from becoming chief minister, even if it means that Yeddyurappa will act as super CM. If the pro-Shettar group insists on his candidature, we may have to finally allow voting at the BJP Legislature party slated for Wednesday morning.”

BJP leader Arun Jaitely, who will be leaving for Bangalore on Tuesday to participate in the BJP LP meeting, said the new chief minister in Karnataka would be chosen through a “political process” which may happen by consensus or secret voting.

Asked about V Sadananda Gowda, who is Yeddyurappa’s choice for the chief minister’s post, Jaitley said “every leader has a right to name his successor.” Jaitley said he and Singh had individually met 118 of the 121 BJP MLAs from the state. The remaining three are travelling abroad.

In Bangalore, developments indicated some softening on part of Yeddyurappa even as reports indicated some flux in his support base among Lingayat and north Karnataka MLAs, with some of them reportedly having drifted over to the Ananth Kumar camp that is lobbying hard to make Shettar, a Lingayat, the next chief minister. 
Additionally, Shettar, a senior Lingayat leader from North Karnataka, on Monday declared that he was a contender for the post of the chief minister and got the blessings of pontiffs of some powerful Lingayat mutts that had in the past that in the past had supported Yeddyurappa whenever he faced crises. Ananth Kumar, chose to stay put in Bangalore to mobilise strength for Shettar.

At a hurriedly convened press conference, Yeddyurappa read out a statement delaring that was “guided by Atal Behari Vajpayee and L K Advani”. He was hopeful that the party leadership would solve the issue of succession “amicably”. To drive home a point that he was not in confrontation with the central leadership, he said he would soon begin touring the State to strengthen the party.

With both pro-Yeddyurappa and pro-Ananth camps not sure of holding on to their numbers, began moving their legislator supporters to star hotels. Rumours were rife that horse trading was on in both the camps to keep the flock together.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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