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Yeddyurappa camp appears headed for showdown with rivals

Bangalore: The B S Yeddyurappa camp appears headed for a major showdown with the rival side at the BJP legislature party meeting here tomorrow, with the race for the Chief Minister’s post narrowing down to D V Sadananda Gowda and Jagadish Shettar.

Yeddyurappa, who quit as Chief Minister following the political upheaval over the Lokayukta report indicting him on illegal mining, has publicly announced that his choice is Gowda, a former state unit party president.

But the rival camp spearheaded by Yeddyurappa’s bitter rival BJP National General Secretary H N Ananth Kumar, today made it known they have decided on the candidature of Shettar.

“I, Shettar and (State unit President K S) Eshwarappa were in the contest for Chief Minister’s post. After that, we sat together and held discussions. (senior BJP leader H N) Ananth Kumar has also joined us. After discussions, we have felt Shettar may become Chief Minister”, Home and Transport Minister R Ashoka told reporters here.

Yeddyurappa has made it known to the party high command that Shettar’s candidature would not be acceptable to him. Shettar, a former state unit president, comes from the dominant Lingayat community, to which Yeddyurappa also belongs.

Speaking to reporters in the district headquarters town of Tumkur today, Yeddyurappa, who tendered his resignation on Sunday, said, “Central leaders (Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh) are coming (to Bangalore) tonight. I am confident that the next Chief Minister will be by consensus”.

Yeddyurappa had also said yesterday that he was confident that national leaders would solve the leadership issue in Karnataka amicably which will be “just and proper”.

Jaitley indicated in New Delhi yesterday that choosing a new Chief Minister is being done through a “political process” which may happen by consensus or secret voting.

But Ashoka said today, “As far as I know, it will be by consensus. I don’t feel it will go to that level (secret voting).

On the anti-Sadananda Gowda camp plumping for Shettar, he said: “Eventually, our opinion is not important. Opinion of (all the) legislators and the central leaders is final”.

He indicated that the selection process could throw up surprises, saying in the consensus process it can’t be said the name being projected as the next Chief Minister would in fact get elected. “When the selection happens through consensus, it could change; anybody can become leader”.

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