After playing hardball for three days with the BJP high command, which had asked him to step down immediately, Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa submitted his resignation to governor HR Bhardwaj amid high drama, claiming he was accused "unfairly" on the illegal mining issue.
But this did not bring the curtains down on the issue of who his successor would be. BSY's insistence on MP DV Sadananda Gowda met with resistance from BJP leaders Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley.
They first sought to push for his rivals, state minister Jagdish Shettar and BJP general secretary Ananth Kumar, backed by LK Advani and party chief Nitin Gadkari. They later explored the possibility of a third leader who did not belong to any camp.
In that case, BSY could be state BJP chief, party sources said.
They also decided that BJP MLAs formally elect the new leader on Wednesday, allowing the high command two more days to work out a compromise.
The day's drama began with BSY faxing his resignation to Gadkari at 7.30am, indicating he'd make it official with the governor by noon.
He later sent emissaries to the BJP observers to press his demands that Gowda be made CM and he state BJP chief. But Jaitley and Singh warned BSY he could be expelled if he didn't resign by 5pm.
Inputs from Bangalore