Bangalore: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has finally named former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa's aide Jagadish Shettar as the new CM of Karnataka. The selection of the new Chief Minister has, however, not been easy with outgoing CM Sadanand Gowda setting stiff conditions for quitting.
According to sources, there may be two deputy chief ministers in the Shettar Cabinet. Current BJP state president Eshwarappa and Gowda's aide R Ashok are likely to be named the deputy chief ministers by the party.
The decision was taken at a legislative party meeting attended by former party president Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar, Eshwarappa, Jagadish Shettar and Sadanand Gowda.
Following the meeting, Shettar thanked the party leaders for electing him as the Chief Minister. He further said, "The BJP legislative party has elected me as a leader. All the national leaders have approved...I was unanimously elected as the leader by all the MLAs."
"Our first priority is to tackle the situation of drought. Our popular schemes will continue. We are united now and will work for development," he said. Shettar also thanked Yeddyurappa and the people of Karnataka.
Former BJP president, who attended the meeting of the legislative party, said, "Since Gowda has voluntarily resigned and since it was accepted, a legislative meeting was held today and both Gowda and Yeddyurappa proposed the name of Shettar as leader of the legislative party."
The Shettar Cabinet will be sworn-in on Thursday.
Earlier on Tuesday, the meeting was deferred as Gowda's camp set forth three conditions for his resignation from the post.
Nearly 46 MLAs and 8 MLCs pledged their support to the outgoing Chief Minister saying they would resign enmasse if their demands were not met.
The Gowda camp put forward the demands that Gowda should be made the state unit's President, that the Deputy CM of the state should be Gowda's confidante Gobind Kajrol and that the 30 members of the new Cabinet should be named.
Reportedly, the Gowda camp also demanded that 20 of the 30 Cabinet posts be given to them.
Meanwhile, Yeddyurappa too released his list of MLAs and MLCs.
Transport and Home Minister R Ashoka is also said to be making a vigorous behind-the-scenes moves to become Deputy Chief Minister, party sources said.
According to sources, BJP central leadership is not in favour of creating the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
Buckling under pressure from Yeddyurappa, the BJP central leadership on Sunday decided to opt for a change of leadership in a bid to end the leadership tussle in the state unit. Gowda agreed to put in his papers and the party high command agreed to make Yeddyurappa loyalist Jagadish Shettar the Chief Minister.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)