Gowda quits, Shettar stakes claim

| Updated on: Jul 11, 2012




Capping his 11-month wobbly tenure, Mr D.V. Sadananda Gowda today resigned as Karnataka Chief Minister, paving the way for Mr Jagadish Shettar to take over the mantle from him, but not before dramatic scenes were witnessed with his supporters trying to physically prevent him from stepping down.

56-year-old Shettar, a Lingayat leader backed by the former Chief Minister, Mr B.S. Yeddyurappa, will be sworn in as the the new Chief Minister by the Governor, Mr H.R. Bhardwaj, at the Raj Bhawan here tomorrow in the third change of guard in the BJP-ruled State in four years.

A day after Mr Shettar was formally elected leader of the BJP Legislature Party after an ugly show of factionalism marked by deep caste polarisation, Mr Gowda drove to Raj Bhavan and submitted his resignation to the Governor.

Mr Shettar, who will have more or less the same tenure as Mr Gowda with Assembly elections due in May next year, staked his claim to form the government, which was accepted by the Governor who appointed him as Chief Minister.

Mr Gowda’s resignation was, however, not without an element of drama as his vociferous supporters tried in vain to physically prevent him from proceeding to the Raj Bhavan. Police used force to evict them.

The first ever BJP Government in the South has witnessed uncertainty in the last 11 months with party strongman in the State, Mr Yeddyurappa not letting Mr Gowda, his choice then, to settle down.

“I wish good luck to Jagadish Shettar and his new ministerial team and pray that God gives him strength to solve the problems afflicting the State,” Mr Gowda said after meeting the Governor.

Raj Bhavan sources said the swearing-in of Mr Shettar and his Council of Ministers will take place at 12 noon at the Glass House in Raj Bhavan.

According to BJP sources, about 30 Ministers are expected to be sworn in tomorrow and the list is expected to be finalised tonight. As per the Constitutional limit, Karnataka can have a 34-member Ministry.

Published on July 11, 2012

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