The names of Karnataka minister Jagdish Shettar, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief KS Eshwarappa and MP Ananth Kumar are doing the rounds as the replacement for chief minister BS Yeddyurappa, who was on Thursday asked to quit by the party.
Speculation is rife about his successor, with the BJP deciding to remove Yeddyurappa after he was indicted by the Lokayukta for the illegal mining in the state.
Shettar, the rural development minister, is a Lingayat leader like Yeddyurappa.
One of the reasons for not asking Yeddyurappa to resign during the last crisis when he was indicted in a land scam was the huge Lingayat vote bank backing him.
Eshwarappa, who belongs to the backward caste, is another option for the party, while former state president Sadananda Gowda's name has also been taken. All three are not so well-known nationally.
BJP Lok Sabha MP Ananth Kumar, who has been a competitor of Yeddyurappa, is another contender, according to party sources.
Former home minister and Yeddyurappa loyalist VS Acharya, law minister Suresh Acharya and Shobha Karandlaje, who is known for her proximity to the chief minister, are the other names being floated, the sources say.
Yeddyurappa was Thursday asked to step down immediately by the BJP after the Lokayukta indicted him for the illegal
mining in the state.